Submitted paper| Volume 18, ISSUE 4, P531-540, December 1997

Hemorheology and therapeutic hemapheresis

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      Rheological parameters (plasma and blood viscosities, erythrocyte aggregation and deformability) are very relevant to a better understanding of the changes inflicted on the properties of blood in various hematological diseases (monoclonal gammopathies in particular). This study reports the measurement of rheological parameters (plasma and blood viscosity, RBC aggregation and deformability) in hematological disorders where abnormal blood properties have been described. All these diseases are treated by means of blood separators (therapeutic haemapheresis: plasma exchange, plasma processing, or erythrocyte exchange). We monitored plasma viscosity in 50 patients with monoclonal gammopathies: before and after each exchange (PE) or plasma processing (PP) sessions. Hyperviscosity was reduced in all cases after plasma exchange. Erythrocyte aggregation in gammopathies was also tested (15 multiple myelomas) treated by PE or PP; EA abnormalities and therapy-induced changes are described. EA is also modified by erythropheresis (seven sickle cell anemias). Measurement of rheological parameters are useful to the diagnosis of rheological abnormalities, as well as to assess the impact of therapeutic hemapheresis techniques like plasma exchange, plasma treatment, erythrocytapheresis.
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