Relationship between brightness of tongue color and peripheral red blood cell parameters: a study of 972 cases*
2015, 38 (3):
Objective To investigate the correlation between brightness of tongue and the parameters of peripheral red blood cells (pRBC). Methods 972 subjects undergoing physical examination took Chinese medical diagnosis of tongue color and took photos of their tongues. Venous blood samples were collected, from which the parameters of pRBC were measured including blood cell count (RBC), hemoglobin (HGB), hematocrit (HCT), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and red blood cell volume distribution width (RDW). After color rectification of the photos of the tongues, chromatic values were extracted from the margin of tongues for furthermore statistical analysis of relationship between tongue color and parameters of pRBC. Results Based on value of brightness (L value), all tongues were divided into four groups: pink tongue group, red tongue group, dark tongue group and bright tongue group. Significant difference (P<0.01) was shown in paired comparison. L values of women in pink tongue group and red tongue group were higher than those of men in the same groups(P<0.01). L value reduced with the increasing of the age in pink tongue group and bright tongue group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). That RBC, HGB and HCT of red tongue group and dark tongue group were higher than those of the other two groups, was related to age and gender. In bright tongue group, RDW of subjects at the age of 50 or above was higher than that of the other age groups. Conclusion The reduction of brightness of tongue color was related to the increasing of RBC, HGB, HCT and MCV. The brightness of tongue color is expected to be used to evaluate the condition of qi and blood.
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