Hemoglobin electrophoresis

Hemoglobin electrophoresis is a blood test that can detect different types of hemoglobin.[1] It uses the principles of gel electrophoresis to separate out the various types of hemoglobin and is a type of native gel electrophoresis. The test can detect abnormal levels of HbS, the form associated with sickle-cell disease, as well as other abnormal hemoglobin-related blood disorders, such as beta thalassaemia and hemoglobin C. It can also be used to determine whether there is a deficiency of any normal form of hemoglobin, as in the group of diseases known as thalassemias. Different hemoglobins have different charges, and according to those charges and the amount, hemoglobins move at different speeds in the gel whether in alkaline gel or acid gel.The hemoglobin electrophoresis is also known to be thalessemia screening, this also can be helpful for the patient who is frequently need of fresh blood transfusion. The patient needs blood transfusion because the body is unable to produce enough hemoglobin to satisfy the body’s requirement.(See Migration Patterns). Electrophoresis is done by the use of cellulose acetate. After running electrophoresis at 150 to 200 volt, stain the cellulose acetate gel with Ponceau red. Thalassemia major Hb F level and Hb A2 levels increase.


Newborns automatically get this test because it’s the law. There are a number of reasons you might get one as an adult:

  • You have symptoms of a blood disorder.
  • You’re at high risk for a blood disorder because of your race.
  • Your child has a blood disorder.
  • One of your other blood tests showed an abnormal result.
  • You have sickle cell disease and you’ve had a transfusion. In this case the test shows doctors whether you’ve gotten enough normal hemoglobin from the new blood.

You don’t need to do anything special to get ready for this test. But you should tell your doctor if you had a blood transfusion in the past 12 weeks. If so, the test could produce a false result.

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