Study Shows Red Blood Cells Less Deformable In ME Patients – Possible Biomarker

Blood Cells

Written by Ronald W. Davis, PhD in ME Action.

This paper documents that red blood cells are less deformable in ME/CFS patients compared to healthy controls. It potentially could be a biomarker, and we are proceeding to design new devices that will make a clear distinction between patients and healthy controls. These devices will be hand-held and easy to use by doctors in their offices, or in clinical testing labs.

Past work has looked primarily at the shape of red blood cells, which is difficult to quantitate. Our approach will give a clear quantitative number. It measures the ability of red blood cells to deform while squeezing into a capillary, something that blood cells must do for healthy flow. We measure hundreds of cells from each patient, so, because of this, even though the number of patients is low, we get a very statistically significant distinction between patient and healthy cells’ deformability. We are putting our energy into developing the new devices as soon as possible.

 

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