Red Blood Cell Lab
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Routine Hemoglobinopathy

Isoelectric focusing (IEF)
Cation exchange HPLC
Cellulose acetate electrophoresis
Citrate agar electrophoresis
Erythrocyte Protoporphyrin (FEP)
Pitted red blood cells (Pitcount)
Sickle Solubility Test (SST)

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Routine Hemoglobinopathy


Human Free Erythrocyte Protoporphyrin (FEP) Assay

The Free Erythrocyte Protoporphyrin (FEO) test measures the non-complexed, non-heme protoporphyrin concentration in blood.  This test alone is not sensitive enough to diagnose iron deficiency, but an elevated FEP in conjunction with a low MCV is suggestive.

FEP is measured using a thin smear of whole blood placed on a coverslip. The fluorometer measures the amount of free unbound porphyrin which accumulates in iron deficiency as a result of decreased heme synthesis. The intensity of the analytic signal produced by the instrument is a function of the molar ratio of fluorescing protoporphyrin to light-absorbing heme.

(ref:Marsh WL Jr, Nelson DP, & Koenig HM: Free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP) II. The FEP test is clinically useful in classifying microcytic RBC disorders in adults. Am J Clin Pathol 1983; 79(6):661-666)

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