Increase in erythrocyte disaggregation shear stress in hypertension.
The aggregation and disaggregation behaviors of red blood cells were investigated in 17 normotensive and 21 hypertensive subjects with a laser reflectometry technique, and simultaneous measurements were taken of blood viscosity with a coaxial viscometer. Increased red blood cell aggregation (26%, p less than 0.001) and disaggregation shear rate (20%, p less than 0.01) and shear stress (18%, p less than 0.01) were observed in hypertensive subjects when compared with normotensive subjects. Similar elevations in hypertensive subjects were found when the hematocrit was adjusted to 40%. Variation of red blood cell concentration caused the red blood cell disaggregation shear rate to change in an opposite direction but did not modify red blood cell aggregability and disaggregation shear stress. The increase of the reversible aggregation of red blood cells was associated with higher fibrinogen and plasma protein concentrations in hypertension. An increase in red blood cell aggregability and in the shear resistance of red blood cell aggregates may play a role in the development of the cardiovascular complication in hypertension. The quantification of red blood cell disaggregation shear stress, which represents the hydrodynamic force required to disperse the aggregates, may provide a useful parameter for clinical investigations.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association