Rheological properties of erythrocytes from male hypercholesterolemia

Microvasc Res. 2004 Mar;67(2):133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2003.12.006.


Diet and general health status has close relation to the flow behavior of blood, which influences the circulation of the blood in the body. In this study, we have compared the rheological properties of erythrocyte, plasma and whole blood from high-cholesterol male subjects with healthy male subjects. Intravenous blood was taken from healthy males (n=10) and males with high cholesterol (n=14). Basic health profile, BMI, hematological count and lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride) of the blood were determined. Viscosity and shear rate dependent flow behavior of the subjects blood were measured by cone and plate rheometer, and permeability of erythrocytes by pulsed field gradient NMR. Using the microchannel flow analyzer (MC-FAN), the microcirculation of erythrocyte and plasma were investigated. Our data showed a difference in viscosity and consistency index of the whole blood, and permeability (P<0.05) of erythrocytes between the two groups. Also, the time taken for the flow of erythrocyte and plasma through the MC-FAN was slower for the high-cholesterol group. Correlation study showed that consistency index of the blood is closely related to the level of LDL (P<0.05), and total cholesterol, HDL and LDL (P<0.01) highly correlated with the microcirculation of erythrocyte and plasma. A negative correlation (P<0.05) was found between total cholesterol, HDL and LDL, and permeability of erythrocytes. It is concluded that high level of cholesterol, LDL and HDL in vivo alter the morphology and flow behavior of blood cells that can subsequently increase the risk of impairing physical function and microcirculation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Viscosity
  • Body Mass Index
  • Erythrocyte Indices*
  • Hemorheology*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
  • Plasma


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL