Red blood cells: their dual role in thrombus formation

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Science  01 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4430, pp. 541-543
DOI: 10.1126/science.7352265


Red blood cells may have a physical and chemical effect on the interaction between platelets and blood vessel surfaces. Under flow conditions in which primarily physical effects prevail, platelet adhesion increases fivefold as hematocrit values increase from 10 to 40 percent but undergoes no further increase from 40 to 70 percent, implying a saturation of the transport-enhancing capabilities of red cells. For flow conditions in which platelet-surface reactivity is more dominant, platelet adhesion and thrombus formation increase monotonically as hematocrit values increase from 10 to 70 percent. Thus red cells may have a significant influence on hemostasis and thrombosis; the nature of the effect is apparently related to the flow conditions.