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Clin Lab Haematol. 2005 Apr;27(2):99-104.

Utility of point-of-care haemoglobin measurement in the HemoCue-B haemoglobin for the initial diagnosis of anaemia.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain.


Measurement of haemoglobin (Hb) concentration provides a reliable indication of the presence and severity of anaemia. However, other laboratory parameters are usually requested as well, leading to an increase in socio-sanitary costs. Accordingly, this study was undertaken to ascertain the reliability of point-of-care Hb determination with the portable photometer HemoCue-B haemoglobin (HBH) and to evaluate its utility for the initial diagnosis of anaemia. Hb was measured (x3) in 20 venous blood samples diluted with saline (v/v; 1 : 0, 2 : 1, 1 : 1, 2 : 1 and 3 : 1) to obtain a wide range of Hb and in venous and capillary blood samples from 247 primary health care patients. All HBH results were compared with those yielded by the reference cell counter Pentra 120 Retic (ABX). In diluted samples, Hb values obtained with either method were not significantly different (ABX-HBH, -0.01 +/- 0.32 g/dl; 95% CI, -0.04 to 0.028 g/dl) and showed an excellent Pearson's coefficient of correlation (r = 0.992; P < 0.01). HBH provides accurate values if at least 4 mul of blood is loaded into the cuvette. There were no significant differences between Hb measured in venous (v) and capillary (c) blood samples in primary care patients. Eighteen anaemic patients were detected by ABX measurements (7.3%; 15 female/3 male), 18 by HBHv (specificity, 100%; sensitivity, 100%) and 25 by HBHc (eight false positives; one false negative; specificity, 94.4%; sensitivity, 96.5%). Compared with ABX, HBH provides accurate and precise measurements for a wide range of Hb and its use in primary health care seems to be a good method for the initial diagnosis of anaemia.

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