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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 Oct;107(1):26-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.05.012. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

A comparison of the accuracy of the corpuscular fragility and mean corpuscular volume tests for the alpha-thalassemia 1 and beta-thalassemia traits.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the accuracy of the osmotic fragility test (OFT) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) calculation when screening for the alpha-thalassemia 1 and/or beta-thalassemia trait.

METHOD:

In this cross-sectional study, blood samples from 328 apparently healthy pregnant women were sent on the same day to separate laboratories for the OFT (performed using a glycerol 0.45%, phosphate-buffered, sodium chloride solution) and MCV testing (by means of a standard automated hematology analyzer). A polymerase chain reaction was also performed to positively diagnose alpha-thalassemia 1 carriers, and a quantitative HbA(2) test to positively diagnose beta-thalassemia carriers.

RESULTS:

Sensitivity and specificity were 95.0% and 86% for the OFT; and based on the cut-off point of 78.1 fL derived from the ROC curve, they were 93% and 93.4% for MCV calculation. The latter test was found to be slightly more accurate than the OFT in predicting the presence of the alpha-thalassemia 1 and/or beta-thalassemia trait.

CONCLUSION:

Both tests have high screening sensitivity for the alpha-thalassemia 1 and/or beta-thalassemia traits, and their simplicity and very low cost make them attractive as screening tests for large populations. Since MCV seems to provide fewer false-positive results, it may be the first choice wherever an automated hematology analyzer calculating MCV is available.

PMID:
19591999
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.05.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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