Washington: Scientists have developed a mathematical model reflecting how red blood cells change in size and hemoglobin content during their four-month lifespan.
For example, it appears that RBCs from healthy individuals are cleared from the bloodstream before they shrink beyond a specific size. But in patients with mild iron-deficiency anemia or a genetic condition called thalassemia trait, RBCs continue shrinking past the clearance threshold for healthy cells.By looking for an increasing population of small RBCs in blood samples from individuals who had a normal blood test and then went on to develop iron-deficiency anemia 30 to 90 days later, the investigators were able to predict the development of iron-deficiency anemia."Looking for the initial shifting of this threshold may allow us to identify a developing anemia significantly earlier than we can now," Higgins says.The study has been published online in PNAS Early Edition. ANI
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