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Special Hemoglobin Tests


Heat stability Test (HST) for Unstable Hemoglobins

The heat stability test is performed for detection of unstable hemoglobins or hemoglobins with altered oxygen affinity. Some hemoglobin mutations result in an unstable hemoglobin that has decreased solubility and precipitates to form erythrocyte inclusions (Heinz bodies).  These inclusions reduce the deformability of the red blood cell and lead to hemolysis. Examples of unstable hemoglobins are Hb Gun Hill, Hb Leiden, and Hb Köln.

Hemolysate is warmed at 50°C for one hour.  Unstable hemoglobins will precipitate under these conditions and can be visually identified.

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 (Ref:  Carrel RW, Br J Haematol 23:615-619, 1972)