Sickle Cell Disease (Anemia) - Diagnosis

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How is sickle cell anemia diagnosed?

Sickle cell anemia is suggested when the abnormal sickle-shaped cells in the blood are identified under a microscope. Testing is typically performed on a smear of blood using a special low-oxygen preparation. This is referred to as a sickle prep. Other prep tests can also be used to detect the abnormal hemoglobin S, including solubility tests performed on tubes of blood solutions. The disease can be confirmed by specifically quantifying the types of hemoglobin present using a hemoglobin electrophoresis.

Prenatal diagnosis (before birth) of sickle cell anemia is possible using amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. The sample obtained is then tested for DNA analysis of the fetal cells.

The hemoglobin electrophoresis test precisely identifies the hemoglobins in the blood by separating them. The separation of the different hemoglobins is possible because of the unique electrical charges they each have on their protein surfaces, causing them each to move characteristically in an electrical field as tested in the laboratory.

Return to Sickle Cell Disease (Sickle Cell Anemia)

See what others are saying

Comment from: seyi, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I am a 27 year old guy. I was diagnosed of sickle cell disease when I was 2 years old, thanks to my dad because he was a medical doctor who took care of me. Although I had a different kind of life with visits to the hospital. I also had a late brother who had sickle cell anemia that died at the age of 15 but thankfully am still alive today. Though it is not easy because of the everyday use of drugs, I still manage myself well.

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Comment from: NSR, 19-24 (Patient) Published: December 15

I have been on tablets for diabetes for the past 10 years. My blood sugar level post lunch has been between 150 and 200. Due to busy schedule, I had to consult another doctor for a periodical checkup. My sugar level was 156/150. The HBA1c reading was 8.1. The new doctor immediately changed the prescription to insulin 12 counts in the morning and 8 counts in the evening. Until I converted to insulin, I never ever felt any symptoms of a diabetic. All of a sudden, I started experiencing every feature of a diabetic, like excess urination, giddiness, hunger, thirst, and fungal formation in the private area. It has been three weeks now. Today, the shocking report is that, my sugar level has shot up above 284 mg/410. The tablets which were administered earlier were Glizid M and Galvus. Present medication is Insuman 12 and 8 points and Galvus 500 mg post lunch.

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