Pathology Handbook

Haemaglobinopathy screen (not antenatal)


Thalassaemia screen, Sickle screen, Haemoglobin variant

Clinical Indications

To confirm or exclude presence of haemoglobin variant and or beta thalassaemia

Test Includes

HPLC, FBC ; if indicated : Sickle solubility test,  cellulose acetate electrophoresis and Kleihauer film examination

Part of Profile


Request Form 

Request on ICE


On request; daily routine working day

Specific Criteria

Ethnic origin required

Patient Preparation

Genetic counselling must be considered

Turnaround Time

Generally 3 days this may be extended if confirmatory testing is required.




4.5 m


Purple top (EDTA) tube

Vacutainer purple top

Causes for Rejection

Incorrect sample identification, clotted, inadequate, grossly haemolysed samples.

Previously reported (x2) Haemoglobinopathy screen.  

Reference Range

See patient test report.

A haemoglobin variant may be detected through routine diabetic screening and HbA1C analysis. A report of the variant will be issued with the HbA1C result and where appropriate an alternative method of diabetic monitoring will be suggested.

Results of infants must be discussed with Consultant Haematologists

A low or equivocal serum ferritin level can falsely lower the HbA2 level. Ferritin stores should be restored before repeat testing is performed.

Rare Hb variants requiring confirmation or requiring definitive diagnosis will be sent to Kings College Hospital. Contact lab first if DNA/globin chain analysis is required.