E. Matsell, K. DiMarco, A. Betts, K. Bradbury, T. Kelly, S. Abbott, & A. Lovering

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a source of intracardiac shunt, and preliminary data suggests that those with a PFO have higher concentrations of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines and white blood cells (WBCs) negatively impact red blood cell (RBC) regulation, but no studies have examined the effect of the PFO on this relationship. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the presence of a PFO, inflammatory cytokine concentrations, and white blood cell counts on RBC mass. METHODS: Twenty healthy, male participants completed the study (10 with and 10 without a PFO). Participants underwent a comprehensive ultrasound screening with saline contrast echocardiography to determine the presence or absence of a PFO. Hemoglobin (Hb) mass was measured twice on the same day via the 10-minute CO-rebreathe method and venous blood samples drawn for measurements of WBC counts and inflammatory cytokines. WBC counts were analyzed by QUEST diagnostics. Cytokine analysis was done using the BioLegend 13-plex human inflammation panel. RESULTS: No differences were found for absolute (g) (p = 0.1096) and relative (g/kg) (p = 0.1382) Hb mass between PFO+ and PFO- participants. No differences were found for WBC count (p = 0.8680) between PFO+ and PFO- participants and for each of the respective immune cells; neutrophils (p = 0.5418), lymphocytes (p = 0.6721), monocytes (p = 0.5388), eosinophils (p = 0.5603), basophils (p = 0.2539). The only inflammatory difference detected was elevated levels of MCP-1 in PFO- participants (p = 0.0332). There was no significant relationship between WBC count and absolute or relative Hb mass. There was a relationship between MCP-1 levels and absolute Hb mass in PFO+ participants, but not in PFO- participants (R2 = 5389). There was a relationship between IL-10 levels and absolute Hb mass in PFO- participants, but not in PFO+ participants (R2 = 6096). No significant difference was detected for the other cytokines for either absolute or relative Hb mass. CONCLUSION: Although there were no PFO differences in Hb mass or WBC counts. differences in cytokine levels for MCP-1 and IL-10 may play a role in modulating Hb mass within a PFO group.

Supported by Partnership for Clean Competition, Peter O’Day Fellowship in Biological Sciences.

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