Hemoglobin electrophoresis is a blood test that helps to know whether the person is suffering from blood disorders.
It is a known fact that one of the most important constituents of blood is hemoglobin. As we all know, hemoglobin (Hb) is a type of protein that contains iron and does the job of carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. The hemoglobin is responsible for giving blood its true color. There are different kinds of proteins and to know the concentration of each, one has to undergo a hemoglobin electrophoresis test.
As aforementioned, the blood is a host to numerous kinds of hemoglobin. The first two mentioned below are commonly present in adults while the last one is detected only in newborns.
- Hemoglobin A
- Hemoglobin A2
- Hemoglobin F
These are not the only ones found in blood. Some samples of blood have shown hemoglobin belonging to a different class. Unfortunately, their presence has been linked to some kind of disease and hence they are termed as harmful. Following are the abnormal variations of hemoglobin:
- Hemoglobin S
- Hemoglobin C
- Hemoglobin H
- Hemoglobin D
- Hemoglobin E
Off all the different types of hemoglobin, the percentage of hemoglobin A is maximum. Out of the total hemoglobin present in blood, 95-98% accounts for hemoglobin A, while the rest is made up of hemoglobin A2 and hemoglobin F. Normal results of hemoglobin electrophoresis reveal absence of abnormal variations of hemoglobin.
Interpretation of the Result
The test results will allow the doctors to diagnose blood disorders like thalassemia and sick cell disease. Blood disorder means the proportion of different types of hemoglobin has gone haywire and abnormal hemoglobin is also present. Blood test results are interpreted in the following way:
- Bloodwork revealing the occurrence of hemoglobin E (Hb E) in small amounts means the existence of hemoglobin E trait. When hemoglobin E is present in abnormally high amounts, it is hinting at hemoglobin E disease.
- In case, the bloodwork shows abnormally high levels of hemoglobin A2 and F, it means that the person has low-grade thalassemia
- When blood test results reveal that the concentration of hemoglobin F is abnormally high and hemoglobin A is substantially low, it means that thalassemia has aggravated considerably.
- The presence of abnormal type of hemoglobin C (Hb C) in meager amounts is pointing towards hemoglobin C trait. Similarly, too much of hemoglobin C is pointing towards hemoglobin C disease.
- When moderate amounts of abnormal type of hemoglobin S (hb S) is detected, it is suggesting sickle cell trait (meaning no severe symptoms of sickle cell disease). When the presence of hb S is excessively high, it indicates that the person has been affected with sickle cell anemia. Pain in the joints, chest, and the abdomen that may be accompanied by swelling in the hands and feet are some of the common symptoms of sickle cell anemia.
- Some blood samples showing more than one type of abnormal hemoglobin (hb S and hb C), is an indication of sickle cell disease
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.