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Red blood cells in thrombosis

James R. Byrnes and Alisa S. Wolberg

Abstract

Red blood cells (RBCs) have historically been considered passive bystanders in thrombosis. However, clinical and epidemiological studies have associated quantitative and qualitative abnormalities in RBCs, including altered hematocrit, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, hemolytic anemias, and malaria, with both arterial and venous thrombosis. A growing body of mechanistic studies suggests that RBCs can promote thrombus formation and enhance thrombus stability. These findings suggest that RBCs may contribute to thrombosis pathophysiology and reveal potential strategies for therapeutically targeting RBCs to reduce thrombosis.

  • Submitted March 31, 2017.
  • Accepted August 11, 2017.
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