Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Hematol. 2007 Jul;86(7):487-91. Epub 2007 May 3.

Discrimination indices as screening tests for beta-thalassemic trait.

Author information

1
First Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece. ntaiosgeorge@yahoo.gr

Abstract

The two most frequent microcytic anemias are beta-thalassemic trait (beta-TT) and iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Several discrimination indices have been proposed to distinguish between these two conditions. These indices are derived from several simple red blood cell indices, like red blood cell (RBC) count, mean cell volume, and RBC distribution width (RDW), as these are provided by electronic cell counters. The purpose of the study is to examine the diagnostic accuracy of six discrimination indices in the differentiation between IDA and beta-TT. The six discrimination indices that were examined were as follows: Mentzer Index (MI), Green & King Index (G&K), RDW Index (RDWI), England & Fraser Index (E&F), RDW, and RBC count. We calculated these indices on 373 patients (205 men, 168 women) with beta-TT and 120 patients (50 men, 70 women) with IDA, as well as their sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative prognostic value, efficiency, and Youden's index (YI). G&K shows the highest reliability, followed by E&F, RBC count, MI, and RDWI. On the contrary, RDW completely failed to differentiate between IDA and beta-TT. G&K proved to be the most reliable index as it had the highest sensitivity (75.06%), efficiency (80.12%), and YI (70.86%) for the detection of beta-TT. These six discrimination indices cannot be relied on for a safe differential diagnosis between beta-TT and IDA. They do have high specificity, but their sensitivity for the detection of beta-TT is not satisfactory. Consequently, they cannot be used neither as a screening tool for beta-TT because they could result in a significant number of false negative results.

PMID:
17476506
DOI:
10.1007/s00277-007-0302-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center