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Efficacy of a modified improved technique for detecting red cell haemoglobin H inclusions



Efficacy of a modified improved technique for detecting red cell haemoglobin H inclusions



Clinical and Laboratory Haematology 12(4): 409-415



Alpha-thalassaemia is a common disease in Taiwan. A feature useful in diagnosis is the excess of of beta-chains that result from impaired alpha-chain production. These excess chains assemble into beta 4 tetramers (i.e. Hb H) which can be detected by its rapid anodal migration on alkaline electrophoretic media as seen in Hb H disease. However, this technique cannot, and conventional Hb H inclusion staining rarely can visualize alpha-thalassaemic traits due to small quantities of Hb H formed in these patients. The staining for Hb H inclusion bodies uses brilliant cresyl blue (BCB) or methylene blue (MB) as an oxidant to denature Hb H as intracellular inclusions. We have improved the technique of Jones (who modified the original method in order to obtain enriched young red cells) by prolonging the incubation time from 30 min to 3 h. The sensitivity of this modified improved method was 91% for detecting obligatory alpha-thalassaemic traits as shown in table. No false positive results were seen in beta-thalassaemia or in others. We believe this can be used as a confirmatory test in heterozygous alpha 1-thalassaemia and homozygous alpha 2-thalassaemia.

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Accession: 039989352

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2081382

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2257.1990.tb00353.x


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