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Haemoglobin Electrophoresis is a blood test done to check the different types of haemoglobin in the blood.
Haemoglobin Electrophoresis is used to diagnose haemoglobinopathies, which are conditions with an unusual combination of haemoglobin types and result in mild anaemia.
Common types of normal haemoglobin include:
Haemoglobin F (fetal haemoglobin) is normally found in fetuses and newborn babies. Haemoglobin F is replaced by haemoglobin A shortly after birth; only very small amounts of haemoglobin F are made after birth. Some diseases, such as sickle cell disease, aplastic anaemia, and leukemia, have abnormal types of haemoglobin and higher amounts of haemoglobin F.
Haemoglobin A (adult haemoglobin) is the most common type of haemoglobin found normally in adults. Some diseases, such as severe forms of thalassaemia, may cause haemoglobin A levels to be low and haemoglobin F levels to be high.
Haemoglobin A2 is a normal type of haemoglobin found in small amounts in adults.
Common types of abnormal haemoglobin include:
Haemoglobin S is present in sickle cell disease.
Haemoglobin Cis found in sickle cell disease.
Haemoglobin E is found in people of Southeast Asian descent.
Haemoglobin D may be present with sickle cell disease or thalassaemia.
Haemoglobin H may be present in certain types of thalassaemia.
Haemoglobin S and haemoglobin C are the most common types of abnormal haemoglobins that may be found by an electrophoresis test.
We send you an easy-to-use kit to collect your blood sample.
Post your sample to our lab in the prepaid envelope provided.
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Our tests are not a substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms. Our doctors will interpret your results based on the information you have provided, but will not diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. You will be advised to see your doctor for any necessary follow-up action.
Haemoglobin carries oxygen and gives the red blood cell its red colour. This test measures the amount of haemoglobin in the blood and is a good measure of the blood's ability to carry oxygen around the body.
A high haemoglobin result can mean increased red cell production to compensate for chronically low oxygen levels in the blood caused by lung disease or living at altitude. While it can also indicate "blood doping" other causes can include dehydration, smoking and bone marrow disorders.
A low haemoglobin result indicates anaemia which can have many causes including pregnancy, blood loss, liver damage, iron deficiency and much more. A low haemoglobin level should be investigated in line with other symptoms and results.
HCT (haemocrit) measures the amount of space (volume) red blood cells take up in the blood.
Raised levels can result from pregnancy, living at altitude, dehydration as well as low availability of oxygen through chronic lung disease and even sleep apnoea.
Low levels indicate anaemia.
Red blood cell (RBC) count analyses the number of red cells in the blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. They also carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs so that it can be exhaled.
A high count (thicker blood) means there is a chance that the red blood cells will clump together and block tiny blood vessels. This also makes it difficult for your red blood cells to carry oxygen.
A low count (anaemia) means that your body may not be getting the oxygen it needs and can be caused by nutritional deficiency (lack of iron, folic acid, vitamin B12), over-hydration as well as bleeding and bone marrow disorders.
MCV (mean corpuscular volume) reflects the size of your red blood cells.
A high result may indicate a vitamin deficiency of folate or vitamin B12 and is often seen in excessive alcohol consumption associated with liver inflammation.
A low result indicates anaemia, often caused by iron deficiency.
MCH (mean corpuscular haemoglobin) is the average amount of haemoglobin contained in your red blood cells.
Together with MCV and MCHC, MCH results can help in the diagnosis of different types of anaemia.
We will send you your Haemoglobin Electrophoresis blood test sample collection kit together with the details of a convenient clinic where you can go and have your sample taken.
Your Haemoglobin Electrophoresis test includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.
Your blood sample will be analysed at one of our chosen laboratories. You can be assured of fast, accurate results from one of our accredited independent providers of clinical diagnostic tests.
Our medical team will comment on out-of-range blood test results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Haemoglobin Electrophoresis test results can be downloaded for your doctor.
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