Effects of menopause and hormone therapy on erythrocyte deformability

Menopause. May-Jun 2009;16(3):555-8. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31818c9306.


Objective: The climacteric disturbance seen among perimenopausal women often includes symptoms related to poor microcirculation. This hemorheological condition plays an important role in the hemodynamism of microcirculation. Specifically, erythrocyte deformability is considered to be one of the most significant factors in determining this hemorheological condition.

Methods: The present study investigated the level of erythrocyte deformability in four groups of women: namely, 10 healthy premenopausal women (PRE group), 25 postmenopausal women (POST group), 20 postmenopausal women on estrogen therapy (ET group) who received conjugated equine estrogens 0.625 mg/day, and 20 postmenopausal women on estrogen plus progestogen therapy (EPT group) who received conjugated equine estrogens 0.625 mg/day plus medroxyprogesterone acetate 2.5 mg/day. The erythrocyte deformability score (EDS), measured by the Micro Channel Array Flow Analyzer, was determined as an index of erythrocyte deformability.

Results: The mean EDS for the POST group was significantly higher (mean +/- SE, 1.02 +/- 0.04) (P < 0.01) than that for the PRE group (0.78 +/- 0.05). The mean EDS for the ET group (0.88 +/- 0.03) was significantly lower than that for the POST group and close to that of the PRE group. There was no difference in the EDS values between the ET group and the EPT group (0.87 +/- 0.03).

Conclusions: These results indicate that erythrocyte deformability may worsen with the decrease in the estrogen level because of the onset of menopause, and also suggest that ET and EPT may allow it to recover.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Erythrocyte Deformability / drug effects*
  • Erythrocyte Deformability / physiology*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy*
  • Estrogens, Conjugated (USP) / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / pharmacology*
  • Menopause / blood*
  • Middle Aged


  • Estrogens, Conjugated (USP)
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate