Use of RBC deformability index as an early marker of diabetic nephropathy

Sang Bae Lee, Yu Sik Kim, Jung Hye Kim, Kahui Park, Ji Sun Nam, Shinae Kang, Jong Suk Park, Sehyun Shin, Chul Woo Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Hemorheologic alterations have been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetic microvascular complications. We measured various hemorheologic parameters and assessed their possible role as a diagnostic tool for diabetic nephropathy (DN). METHODS: 248 subjects with type 2 diabetes and 222 subjects with prediabetes were included in this study. Hemorheologic parameters, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), elongation index at 3 Pa (EI) were measured using microfluidic hemorheometer. Various metabolic parameters were measured from fasting blood samples. The subjects were stratified into three groups according to classification of DN by urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) and four groups by estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), than analyzed. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed in metabolic and hemorheologic parameters according to progression of DN. Among them, (Fibrinogen×ESR)/ EI differed in all three groups of urinary ACR. In multiple regression analysis, (Fibrinogen×ESR)/ EI was an independent predictor of urine ACR after adjusted with confounding factors (ß = 0.010, p < 0.001). (Fibrinogen×ESR)/ EI also showed significant difference no or minimal CKD stage, moderate CKD and severe CKD classified by GFR. This parameter showed area under curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.762, and moderate sensitivity and specificity to predict prevalence of microalbuminuria. CONCLUSIONS: (Fibrinogen×ESR)/ EI is a sensitive parameter for screening diabetic nephropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • RBC deformability
  • elongation index
  • hemorheology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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