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Density distribution of cells (DDC) can be determined by the described method, in which blood cells are separated according to their density using phthalate esters as separating liquids. Methyl phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate are mixed in different proportions to yield a battery of fluids with increments of specific gravity of 0.004. The blood is introduced over the different separating liquids in twenty microhematocrit capillaries. After centrifugation, denser cells are separated from less dense cells by a transparent layer of the non-water miscible phthalate esters. The DDC curve thus obtained represents age population distribution as determined by tagging young red cells in vivo with Fe59 and following their maturation. The similarity of the DDC curve to the osmotic fragility curve is shown for normal blood. Various deviations between these two curves occur in certain pathological conditions. The potential diagnostic value of this method is suggested.
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Accepted: August 10, 1964
Received: June 10, 1964
© 1964 Published by Elsevier Inc.