Using a simple filtration method, red cell deformability was measured in healthy control subjects and in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Impaired red cell deformability was demonstrated in patients with rest pain or gangrene and in patients with intermittent claudication. An improvement in red cell deformability was demonstrated after successful reconstructive vascular surgery in both patient groups. An improvement in red cell deformability was demonstrated in patients undergoing major limb amputation.
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