Effects of hemoglobin (Hb) E and HbD traits on measurements of glycated Hb (HbA1c) by 23 methods

Randie R. Little, Curt L. Rohlfing, Steve Hanson, Shawn Connolly, Trefor Higgins, Cas W. Weykamp, Mario D'Costa, Veronica Luzzi, William E. Owen, William L. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Glycohemoglobin (GHB), reported as hemoglobin (Hb) A 1c, is a marker of long-term glycemic control in patients with diabetes and is directly related to risk for diabetic complications. HbE and HbDare the second and fourth most common Hb variants worldwide. We investigated the accuracy of HbA1c measurement in the presence of HbE and/or HbD traits. METHODS: We evaluated 23 HbA1c methods; 9 were immunoassay methods, 10 were ion-exchange HPLC methods, and 4 were capillary electrophoresis, affinity chromatography, or enzymatic methods. An overall test of coincidence of 2 least-squares linear regression lines was performed to determine whether the presence of HbE or HbD traits caused a statistically significant difference from HbAA results relative to the boronate affinity HPLC comparative method. Deming regression analysis was performed to determine whether the presence of these traits produced a clinically significant effect on HbA1c results with the use of ±10% relative bias at 6% and 9% HbA1c as evaluation limits. RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were found in more than half of the methods tested. Only 22% and 13% showed clinically significant interference for HbE and HbD traits, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Some current HbA1c methods show clinically significant interferences with samples containing HbE or HbD traits. To avoid reporting of inaccurate results, ion-exchange chromatograms must be carefully examined to identify possible interference from these Hb variants. For some methods, manufacturers' instructions do not provide adequate information for making correct decisions about reporting results. © 2008 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1277-1282
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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