Use of piracetam improves sickle cell deformability in vitro and in vivo

J Clin Pathol. 1987 Jan;40(1):99-102. doi: 10.1136/jcp.40.1.99.


Microsieving diluted suspensions of oxygenated sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) cells on polycarbonate filters shows that piracetam improves the red cell deformability in vitro. In vivo an oral intake of 160 mg/kg/day divided in four doses enhances the HbSS cell deformability as actively as it does in in vitro experiments. The drug is also able partially to restore the impaired deformability of physiologically deoxygenated HbSS cells. These findings are consistent with the results of clinical trials, which show that continuous treatment with piracetam reduces the incidence of vaso-occlusive crises in patients with sickle cell disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / blood
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocyte Deformability / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Piracetam / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrrolidinones / therapeutic use*


  • Pyrrolidinones
  • Piracetam