• The rheology of the blood was studied in 20 patients with Raynaud syndrome. Sixteen patients had scleroderma, two had nonspecific angiitis, one had systemic lupus erythematosus, and one had Raynaud disease. Viscosity measurements were performed on whole blood, plasma, and suspensions of 45% red blood cells (RBCs). In autologous plasma, over a wide range of shear rates. The relative viscosity, an index of RBC aggregation, was obtained by dividing the RBC viscosity in autologous plasma (at a hematocrit value of 45%) by the plasma viscosity. Concentrations of the plasma globulins and fibrinogen were also measured. The mean plasma viscosity was significantly (P <.01) elevated over established normal controls. The mean RBC viscosity and the relative viscosity were significantly (P <.01) elevated over normal controls, as were fibrinogen and the globulins. These studies demonstrate increased blood viscosity and red blood cell aggregation, which may constitute an important hindrance to flow.
(Arch Surg 110:1343-1346, 1975)