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Changes in membrane lipid composition morphology and cell function of the erythrocyte in cirrhotic patients their clinical significance



Changes in membrane lipid composition morphology and cell function of the erythrocyte in cirrhotic patients their clinical significance



Journal of the Kurume Medical Association 47(9): 1031-1041



The clinical significance of changes of erythrocyte size and membrane lipid composition in patients with liver cirrhosis was investigated. The effect of changes in size and lipid composition on the osmotic resistance and deformability of the erythrocyte was studied. In the early stage of liver cirrhosis, the erythrocyte surface area was increased and the ratio of the free cholesterol to total lipid of the erythrocyte membrane was elevated; the erythrocyte volume remained normal. In the later stage of liver cirrhosis, both the surface area and the volume of the erythrocyte were increased with increased ratio of the free cholesterol and decreased ratio of the phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine of the erythrocyte membrane lipid. There was a negative correlation between the erythrocyte size and indices of hepatic protein or cholesterol synthesis. In cirrhotic patients, the erythrocyte osmotic resistance and deformability were more increased than those of healthy subjects, which result from the elevated ratio of the surface area to the volume of the erythrocyte. The erythrocyte may provide protective adaptation against hemolysis in the enlarged spleen associated with liver cirrhosis.

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Accession: 004909398

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