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Trends in Medical Research
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 155 - 159

Sicklable Red Cells as Surrogates for Haemoglobin-S in Patients with Sickle Cell Anaemia Undergoing Exchange Blood Transfusion

S.G. Ahmed, U.A. Ibrahim and A.W. Hassan    

Abstract: This study was conducted to determine the potential usefulness of sicklable red cells as surrogate markers for Hb S in monitoring Exchange Blood Transfusion (EBT) in Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) patients in resource limited health institutions. A total of 5 patients with SCA who had EBT at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, were monitored by serial densitometric Hb S quantitation as well as estimation of the proportion of sicklable red cells after each cycle of EBT. The proportion of sicklable red cells were estimated with the use of microscope (x40 objective) from glass slide preparations for sickling test made by standard technique using dithionite. The mean values of Hb S levels and proportions of sicklable red cells that were obtained before the EBT (pre-EBT) and after each cycle of EBT from all the five patients were analyzed using SPSS version 11.0 to determine the coefficient of correlation. The mean levels of Hb S and proportions of sicklable red cells fell in parallel from pre-EBT values of 93 and 100% to 17 and 19% at the end of the 5th cycle, respectively. The proportion of sicklable red cells fell to a target level of less than 20% after cycle-5, by which time the Hb S level was even much lower than 20%. Linear regression analysis between the mean values of Hb S and sicklable red cells revealed a strong positive correlation coefficient, r = +0.992 (p = 0.01). Hence, sicklable red cells can be used as useful and safe surrogate markers for Hb S in the monitoring of SCA patients on EBT. This may be an attractive model for resource limited health institutions that manage SCA but lacks modern Hb quantitation facilities.

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