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Osmotic gradient ektacytometry: A valuable screening test for hereditary spherocytosis and other red blood cell membrane disorders.

INTRODUCTION: New generation osmotic gradient ektacytometry has become a powerful procedure for measuring red blood cell deformability and therefore for the diagnosis of red blood cell membrane disorders. In this study, we aim to provide further support to the usefulness of osmotic gradient ektacytometry for the differential diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis by measuring the optimal cutoff values of the parameters provided by this technique.

METHODS: A total of 65 cases of hereditary spherocytosis, 7 hereditary elliptocytosis, 3 hereditary xerocytosis, and 171 normal controls were analyzed with osmotic gradient ektacytometry in addition to the routine red blood cell laboratory techniques. The most robust osmoscan parameters for hereditary spherocytosis diagnosis were determined using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

RESULTS: The best diagnostic criteria for hereditary spherocytosis were the combination of decreased minimal elongation index up to 3% and increased minimal osmolality point up to 5.2% when compared to the mean of controls. Using this established criterion, osmotic gradient ektacytometry reported a sensitivity of 93.85% and a specificity of 98.38% for the diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis.

CONCLUSION: Osmotic gradient ektacytometry is an effective diagnostic test for hereditary spherocytosis and enables its differential diagnosis with other red blood cell membrane diseases based on specific pathology profiles.

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