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J Chin Med Assoc. 2004 Aug;67(8):394-7.

White blood cell and platelet counts could affect whole blood viscosity.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.



Blood viscosity is correlated with cerebral blood flow and cardiac output, and increased viscosity may increase the risk of thrombosis or thromboembolic events. The relationship between hematocrit and viscosity is well-known, however, the relationships between white blood cell (WBC) or platelet count and viscosity were not fully studied. The aim of the present study was to determine the influences of platelet count and WBC count on blood viscosity.


One-hundred and 13 subjects with different hemoglobin, WBC and platelet count were enrolled into the study. The variables measured included serum fibrinogen, cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), complete blood counts including hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count, red blood cell (RBC) count, WBC count, whole blood and plasma viscosity. The relationships of these variables with whole blood or plasma viscosity were analyzed.


Serum fibrinogen, cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL and LDL did not correlate with whole blood viscosity. Not only hematocrit, hemoglobin and RBC, but also WBC and platelet count, could affect whole blood viscosity. On the other hand, none of the variables could affect plasma viscosity.


All the blood cell components, but not the plasma proteins detected above, could affect whole blood viscosity. When patients are with high leukocytosis and thrombocytosis, impaired blood viscosity should also be considered to obtain appropriate clinical management.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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