Sickling Test

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Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited disease leading to the production of an abnormal type of haemoglobin called hemoglobin S (Hb S or Hgb S). Sickling test determines the presence of Hb S in a sample or detect mutations in the genes that produce the same to help diagnose SCD and/or identify people with sickle cell trait.

What is sickling test?

A sickling test is a blood test used to determine if a person is suffering from SCD or has its traits. People with SCD have sickle shaped RBCs. People with sickle cell trait are genetic carriers and show no symptoms and thereby can’t develop SCD. SCD causes shortage of RBCs. Sickling test is a part of routine screening performed on newborn and can be used on adults also, when needed.

Why is sickling test suggested?

The test is done to determine whether you have SCD or sickle cell trait depending on symptoms like-

  • Anemia
  • Vision problems
  • Delayed growth
  • Frequent infections
How is sickling test performed?

The test is done using the blood sample drawn from a vein in the arm or from heel in case of a newborn.

What are the parameters measured in sickling test?

The test looks for the presence of Hb S. A negative result is normal but a positive result may mean you have SCD or sickle cell trait.

Preparation before performing sickling test.

No specific preparation needed; however, the sample should not be drawn after a recent blood transfusion.

Post care after sickling test

Care depends on the results

  • If the results show sickle cell trait, the doctor will order further tests for diagnosis.
  • If SCD is diagnosed, the doctor will plan a treatment plan accordingly.
Sample types in Sickling test.

The sample types-

  • Two normal Hb genes- Neither SCD nor sickle cell trait.
  • Two abnormal Hb genes- SCD
  • One abnormal gene- Sickle cell trait.
Side effects/risks of sickling test.

The test does not have any specific side effects/risks.

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