It provides a comprehensive service for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with haematological disorders with haemoglobiopathies such as thalasaemia and sickle cell disease.
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is an automated technique that is increasingly used in place of haemoglohin electrophoresis. These techniques allow detection of an abnormal haemoglobin; and the relative proportions of the different nornml haemoglobins (HbA, A2, F)
Haemoglobin electrophoresis is a simple technique whereby red cells are lysed to release haemoglobin. and the lysate is applied to a gel across which an electric current is applied
The laboratory performs routine HPLC screen for all patients with low MCV & MCH, especially the newly admitted patients as well as patients with known haemoglobinopathies such as Sickle cell disease and beta-thalasemia.
Laboratory investigations for haemoglobinopathies are most conveniently performed on venous blood samples anticoagulated with one of the salts of EDTA (e.g. K2EDTA).Testing of neonates can be performed on cord blood samples. Samples should be stored at 4°C and ideally should be tested within a week as longer storage leads to denaturation of hemoglobin and less distinct bands on electrophoresis.
Samples for testing should be accompanied by the:
- Full name & date of birth.
- Ethnic origin of the individual to be tested.
- Time of blood taken for genetic counseling of potential parents.
- identifying details of the partner should be given so that results of both partners can be assessed simultaneously and guidance on genetic risks given.