The Haemolytic Laboratory is responsible for investigations of
anaemia due to red cell haemolysis.
In the majority of cases these include investigations for
disorders of both hereditary (intrinsic) red cell disorders of the
membrane, metabolism and haemoglobin, along with acquired
(extrinsic) red cell disorders.
The majority of the laboratory's workload is taken up by the
screening and diagnosis of hereditary disorders of haemoglobin
synthesis, collectively termed haemoglobinopathies.
The two most commonly encountered are sickle cell disorders
(haemoglobin S) and thalassaemia. A variety of tests are performed,
such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and
The trust's area is classed as a high prevalence area (1.5
per 10,000) for haemoglobinopathies and offers universal screening
for all antenatal patients as part of the
NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme. We also
confirm positive haemoglobinopathy screens referred from the
Newborn Screening Laboratory which offers universal screening for
haemoglobinopathies as part of the UK Newborn
Haemoglobinopathies are found principally in certain ethnic
populations. Sickle cell disorders are most commonly found among
Afro-Caribbeans and West Africans, and to a lesser extent in those
of Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin. Thalassaemia is found
mainly in people originating from the Mediterranean, Asia, and
the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Africa.
Since haemoglobinopathies affect such a large population and
encompass a wide spectrum of language, culture and social aspects,
the laboratory works closely with the haematology clinicians as
well as counsellors from the Manchester Sickle Cell and