Sickling test

Also known as Sickle Cells Blood
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What is this test?

This test is useful in identifying people with genetic sickle cell disorder or carriers of the sickle cell trait which causes alterations in the formation and maintenance of red blood cells in the blood.

What is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a genetic abnormality caused due to the mutation in the HBB gene which is responsible for the formation and maintenance of hemoglobin in the blood. The hemoglobin in red blood cells are made up of two different protein sub-units which are heme and globulin, the heme protein in the red blood cell is combined with 4 units of globulin (2 units of alpha globulin and 2 units of beta globulin). The defective beta-globulin protein due to the gene mutation causes the red blood cells to curve and change shape. Thus, affecting the average life span of red blood cells and the overall oxygen-carrying capacity of blood.

People with sickle cell disease will often be monitored and are recommended to avoid certain medications or triggers like dehydration, high altitude, hypoxia(shortage of oxygen), strenuous or excessive exercise, etc.

How are sickle cells identified?

The sickle cells are generally identified with various screening methods. The most common test is the use of a reagent (sodium metabisulfite) to remove oxygen from a smear of blood and examining it under a microscope after a period of time. The affected red blood cells deform into the shape of a sickle in patients with sickle cell disease.

Why this test is recommended?

Sickle cell test is usually recommended as a routine screening test for newborns and identifying individuals with possible sickle cell disease or traits to rule out the cause of hemolytic anemia in individuals.

This test may also be recommended if you are having signs and symptoms like frequent fatigue, shortness of breath, severe bone pain, yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice), swollen extremities (hands and feet), enlarged liver and spleen, etc


People with sickle cell trait/disease are advised to avoid certain medications, strenuous physical activity and recommended to maintain proper hydration, etc

Also known as Sickle Cells.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Sickling test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Sickling test.

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications or have undergone blood transfusion within 90 days as it may interfere with your test results

Understanding your test results

The sickle cell test is normally used to identify the hemoglobin defect in the red blood cell (HBs). The positive test result indicates that the person is suffering from sickle cell disease

Negative test result indicates that the person is apparently normal and might require further tests to identify the cause of the concerned medical condition if any.

GenderAge groupsValue
MALEAll age groupsPositive in the case of Sickle Cell Anemia
FEMALEAll age groupsPositive in the case of Sickle Cell Anemia
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