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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 2017, Article ID 1286263, 8 pages
Research Article

Impaired Hemorheology in Exacerbations of COPD

1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pulmonology, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey
2Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey

Correspondence should be addressed to Emine Kilic-Toprak; moc.oohay@enime_tp

Received 6 May 2017; Revised 7 August 2017; Accepted 21 August 2017; Published 27 September 2017

Academic Editor: Franz Stanzel

Copyright © 2017 Erhan Ugurlu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by progressive airflow limitation. Cardiovascular-related comorbidities are established to contribute to morbidity and mortality especially during exacerbations. The aim of the current study was to determine alterations in hemorheology (erythrocyte aggregation, deformability) in newly diagnosed COPD patients and their response to medical treatment and to compare with values of COPD patients with exacerbations. Materials and Methods. The study comprised 13 COPD patients, 12 controls, and 16 COPD patients with exacerbations. The severity of COPD was determined according to Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines. Red blood cell (RBC) deformability and aggregation were measured by an ektacytometer. Results. RBC deformability of COPD patients with exacerbations was decreased compared to the other groups. Erythrocyte aggregation and plasma fibrinogen of COPD patients determined during exacerbations were higher than control. Conclusion. Decreased RBC deformability and increased aggregation associated with exacerbations of COPD may serve as unfavorable mechanisms to worsen oxygenation and thus clinical symptoms of the patient. Treatment modalities that modify rheological parameters might be beneficial.