Acute Free-Iron Exposure Does Not Explain the Impaired Haemorheology Associated with Haemochromatosis
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Introduction Given the severity of the current imbalance between blood donor supply and recipient demand, discarded blood drawn from the routine venesections of haemochromatosis (HFEHH) patients may serve as a valuable alternative source for blood banks and transfusion. We investigated whether functional or biochemical differences existed between HFE-HH and control blood samples, with particular focus upon the haemorheological properties, to investigate the viability of venesected blood being subsequently harvested for blood products. Methods Blood samples were collected from HFE-HH patients undergoing venesection treatment (n = 19) and healthy volunteers (n = 8). Moreover, a second experiment investigated the effects of a dose-response of iron (0, 40, 80, 320 mM FeCl3) on haemorheology in healthy blood samples (n = 7). Dependent variables included basic haematology, iron status, haematocrit, red blood cell (RBC) aggregation (native and standardised haematocrit) and “aggregability” (RBC tendency to aggregate in a standard aggregating medium; 0.4 L/L haematocrit in a Dx70), and RBC deformability. Results Indices of RBC deformability were significantly decreased for HFE-HH when compared with healthy controls: RBC deformability was significantly decreased at 1–7 Pa (p < 0.05), and the shear stress required for half maximal deformability was significantly increased (p < 0.05) for HFE-HH. RBC aggregation in plasma was significantly increased (p < 0.001) for HFE-HH, although when RBC were suspended in plasma-free Dx70 no differences were detected. No differences in RBC deformability or RBC aggregation/aggregability were detected when healthy RBC were incubated with varying dose of FeCl3. Conclusion HFE-HH impairs the haemorheological properties of blood; however, RBC aggregability was similar between HFE-HH and controls when cells were suspended in a plasma-free medium, indicating that plasma factor(s) may explain the altered haemorheology in HFEHH patients. Acute exposure to elevated iron levels does not appear (in isolation) to account for these differences. Further consideration is required prior to utilising routine venesection blood for harvesting RBC concentrates due to the potential risk of microvascular disorders arising from impaired haemorheology.
© 2016 McNamee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified