Computerized morphometric analysis of eryptosis

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Frontiers in Physiology


Eryptosis is the suicidal destruction-process of erythrocytes, much like apoptosis of nucleated cells, in the course of which the stressed red cell undergoes cell-shrinkage, vesiculation and externalization of membrane phosphatidylserine. Currently, there exist numerous methods to detect eryptosis, both morphometrically and biochemically. This study aimed to design a simple but sensitive, automated computerized approach to instantaneously detect eryptotic red cells and quantify their hallmark morphological characteristics. Red cells from 17 healthy volunteers were exposed to normal Ringer and hyperosmotic stress with sodium chloride, following which morphometric comparisons were conducted from their photomicrographs. The proposed method was found to significantly detect and differentiate normal and eryptotic red cells, based on variations in their structural markers. The receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for each of the markers showed a significant discriminatory accuracy with high sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve values. The software-based technique was then validated with RBCs in malaria. This model, quantifies eryptosis morphometrically in real-time, with minimal manual intervention, providing a new window to explore eryptosis triggered by different stressors and diseases and can find wide application in laboratories of hematology, blood banks and medical research.



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