Wikipedia states that erythrocyte aggregation causes disease:

Conversely, the presence of rouleaux is a cause of disease because it will restrict the flow of blood throughout the body because capillaries can only accept free-flowing singular and independent red blood cells.

but also it states that the body has special proteins that cause it:

The most important protein causing rouleaux formation in plasma is fibrinogen.

Does erythrocyte aggregation serve a useful function?


The information you've aggregated is accurate. Our blood contains RBCs (red blood cells), platelets and plasma (the fluid that carries these RBCs and other proteins like fibrinogen). Ofcourse, there are many other components in there not pertaining to this answer. The purpose of all these haemostatic(clot forming) factors is to stop us from bleeding to death in case of injuries. This is achieved when fibrinogen in plasma gets activated to fibrin which is a mesh or net like structure which traps platelets and RBCs forming what is called a 'fibrin plug' (see pic below) (source). This mechanism happens in all of us and saves us every time there is an injury. However, occasionally, in cases of coexisting comorbidities, this mechanism may lead to complications like DVT, stroke, MI etc..

blood clot

  • Can you please add supporting reference(s) as required by site guidelines? Also, you need to credit the source of the diagram.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 1 '20 at 23:03
  • @CareyGregory noted and added Nov 2 '20 at 18:32

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