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Osmotic Fragility Test

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Overview Brief

An Osmotic Fragility Test is done to help diagnose two hereditary conditions namely thalassemia and hereditary spherocytosis that lead to anemia.

What is Osmotic Fragility Test?

Osmotic Fragility Test diagnoses thalassemia which causes the body to form excessive hemoglobin which carries red blood cells to the oxygen. The red blood cells can be destroyed if diagnosed with thalassemia.

Hereditary spherocytosis causes problems with the outer layer of the red blood cells by distorting their shape.

Both the above, if diagnosed, can lead to anemia.

Why is the Osmotic Fragility Test suggested?

Osmotic Fragility Tests is for infants with a family history of thalassemia or hereditary spherocytosis.

The Osmotic Fragility Test can confirm if the patient has thalassemia or hereditary spherocytosis which is the cause of anemia which is known by the following symptoms.

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Decreased ability to exercise

How is Osmotic Fragility Test performed?

An Osmotic Fragility Test is taken where the patient needs to give a blood sample.

  • The arm will be wiped from any infection.
  • A band will be wrapped around the arm.
  • Then the will be injected out of the veins by use of a sterilized syringe.

What are the parameters measured in Osmotic Fragility Test?

The Osmotic Fragility Test measures the salt concentration in the red blood cells which is estimated at 5% to 45% hemolysis corresponding to 4.5 g NaCl/l

Preparation before Osmotic Fragility Test 

Before an Osmotic Fragility Test, there is no special preparation required as It is a simple blood test. Consulting a physician with regards to diet would be advised. 

Post-care after Osmotic Fragility Test 

After an Osmotic Fragility Test, the patient can return back to normal daily routine, unless rest or further tests are advised by the doctor.

Sample types in Osmotic Fragility Test

For an Osmotic Fragility Test blood sample is collected to test for thalassemia or hereditary spherocytosis.

Side effects/risks after Osmotic Fragility Test 

In Osmotic Fragility Test blood is drawn from the veins in which no known risk factors are involved.

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