The role of the white blood cell in arterial disease

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    Careful study of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis is allowing the mechanism of thrombus formation to be better understood. Recent interest in the role of the white blood cell (WBC) has been stimulated by epidemiological studies showing the WBC count as a predictor for thrombotic events. There are several possible ways in which the WBC may affect blood flow. WBCs are large, hard cells, they can aggregate and adhere thus slowing flow in the microcirculation. WBCs also release prothrombotic chemicals such as proteases and oxygen free radicals. WBCs can further augment thrombosis through interaction with other cell types such as the platelet, red cell and endothelial cell. Therefore, in addition to their more conventional role in combating infection WBCs may mediate vascular damage and thrombus formation. This review outlines the evidence for this and discusses therapeutic possibilities whereby WBC function can be modified while maintaining its necessary tissue repair function.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-191
    Number of pages9
    JournalBlood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


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