Clinical Use:
Background: Haemolytic anaemia is a condition in which red blood cells can no longer transport oxygen effectively throughout the body. In addition to haemolytic anaemia, G6PD deficient individuals can expect several other clinical manifestations of their condition. These include neonatal jaundice, abdominal and/or backache, dizziness, headache, dyspnea and palpitations.

Inherited G6P-DH deficiency makes red cells liable to haemolyse in the presence of certain compounds. Certain antimalarial compounds e.g Primaquine, Sulphonamides and favism (eating fava beans) may be responsible for causing haemolytic anaemia through this mechanism.

Inheritance is sex-linked recessive with males usually affected and females acting as carriers. New-born babies who are G6P-DH deficient may have spontaneous haemolysis (in the absence of precipitating agents) and erythrocyte G6P-DH should be requested for any baby with a bilirubin over 200 umol/L whose parents originate from S. Europe, Asia or Africa.

Babies who are haemolysing may have significantly elevated reticulocyte counts- in such subjects blood taken during early days may not exclude the diagnosis (reticulocytes have more G6P-DH than mature red cells) – blood taken later will show low G6P-DH levels. G6P-DH is measured using glucose-6-phosphate and NADP+ as substrates in a red cell haemolysate by following reduction of NADP+ to NADPH at 340nm.

Reference Ranges: Adults: 146 – 376 (U/10^12RBC)
Associated Diseases:
Patient Preparation:
Specimen Requirements: Sample type:

  • An EDTA (purple top) or Lithium Heparin (green top) Tube sample is required for analysis.

Sample identification:

  • Three patient identifiers from
    • Name
    • D.O.B.
    • Address
    • N.H.S. number
    • Unit Number

    should match on the specimen and request form. This check may be performed prior to centrifugation by the Central Sort department.

Turnaround Time: 3 days
Additional Information:
Referred Test: