Background/aim: The present study aimed to assess erythrocyte morphology in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus patients using scanning electron microscopy. Materials and methods: In total, 30 patients admitted to endocrine outpatient clinics were included in the study. The patients were divided into two groups according to their fasting blood glucose levels: type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 15, fasting blood glucose levels ≥ 126 mg/dL) and control (n = 15, fasting blood glucose levels < 99 mg/dL). The patient's demographic characteristics, haemoglobin A1c levels, and scanning electron microscopy findings regarding erythrocyte morphology were recorded. Results: There was no significant difference between the control and type 2 diabetes mellitus group in terms of the participants' age (51.13 ± 8.53 vs. 50.33 ± 8.72 years, p = 0.8) and the male/female ratio (9/6 vs. 9/6). In the control group, discocytes were abundant, echinocytes were rare, and spherocytes were absent. On the other hand, discocytes were less common and echinocyte-shaped erythrocytes were more common in the type 2 diabetes mellitus group than in the control group. In addition, spherocytes were detected in the type 2 diabetes mellitus group. Moreover, the diameter of discocytes was significantly lower (p = 0.014), and blood glucose and haemoglobin A1c levels were significantly higher (p < 0.05 for both) in the type 2 diabetes mellitus group than in the control group. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that high glucose levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients lead to significant alterations in erythrocyte morphology, including decreased erythrocyte deformability and the formation of echinocytes and spherocytes due to eryptosis. The possibility of decreased erythrocyte deformability due to excessive eryptosis may disturb microcirculation in newly diagnosed, treatment-naïve type 2 diabetes mellitus patients who do not have any complications.
Diabetes mellitus, erythrocyte, scanning electron microscopy, morphology, eryptosis
MORTAŞ, TÜLAY; DURMAZ, ŞENAY ARIKAN; SEZEN, ŞABAN CEM; and SAVRANLAR, YASEMİN
"Assessment of erythrocyte morphology in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a pilotstudy of electron microscopy-based analysis in relation to healthy controls,"
Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences: Vol. 51:
5, Article 39.
Available at: https://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/medical/vol51/iss5/39