Ability of ERYTHROCYTES to change shape as they pass through narrow spaces, such as the microvasculature.
Red blood cells. Mature erythrocytes are non-nucleated, biconcave disks containing HEMOGLOBIN whose function is to transport OXYGEN.
The internal resistance of the BLOOD to shear forces. The in vitro measure of whole blood viscosity is of limited clinical utility because it bears little relationship to the actual viscosity within the circulation, but an increase in the viscosity of circulating blood can contribute to morbidity in patients suffering from disorders such as SICKLE CELL ANEMIA and POLYCYTHEMIA.
The formation of clumps of RED BLOOD CELLS under low or non-flow conditions, resulting from the attraction forces between the red blood cells. The cells adhere to each other in rouleaux aggregates. Slight mechanical force, such as occurs in the circulation, is enough to disperse these aggregates. Stronger or weaker than normal aggregation may result from a variety of effects in the ERYTHROCYTE MEMBRANE or in BLOOD PLASMA. The degree of aggregation is affected by ERYTHROCYTE DEFORMABILITY, erythrocyte membrane sialylation, masking of negative surface charge by plasma proteins, etc. BLOOD VISCOSITY and the ERYTHROCYTE SEDIMENTATION RATE are affected by the amount of erythrocyte aggregation and are parameters used to measure the aggregation.
The deformation and flow behavior of BLOOD and its elements i.e., PLASMA; ERYTHROCYTES; WHITE BLOOD CELLS; and BLOOD PLATELETS.