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Sickle Cell Test

What Affects the Test

Having a blood transfusion in the past 4 months can cause a false-negative test result because of the normal hemoglobin from the blood donor.

What To Think About

  • Most states routinely do a sickle cell blood test on all newborns.
  • If you have a family history of sickle cell disease, you may be advised to have a blood test to determine whether you carry the sickle cell trait. If you have sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease, you may choose genetic counseling before deciding to have children.
  • Testing is available to check for sickle cell disease in an unborn baby (fetus). This can be done through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
  • Babies younger than 6 months of age may have false-negative results because they have more hemoglobin F (fetal hemoglobin) in their blood.
  • In the United States, sickle cell disease mainly affects African Americans and Latin Americans.

Other Places To Get Help

Organization

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA)
Web Address: www.sicklecelldisease.org

Citations

  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2007). Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Newborns. Available online: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspshemo.htm.

  2. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMartin Steinberg, MD - Hematology
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014
1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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