Q. The definitive routine laboratory test for diagnosis of the sickling syndromes is? Is sickledex not a screening test only? I realize it detects Hb S but does not detect Hb C/B Thalassemia etc.

A. Hemoglobin electrophoreis; Hb electrophoresis as usually done does not absolutely identify Hb S as other hemoglobins have the same electrophoretic mobility. The sickledex merely establishes the presence of Hb S without giving information on the proportion of Hb S or on the presence of other variants thus, you need both for definitive diagnosis. These tests are now being replaced with more sophisticated methods for identifying and quantifying abnormal hemoglobins.

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