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Variant Haemoglobins: A Guide to Identification

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6715-4
260 pages
January 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Variant Haemoglobins: A Guide to Identification (1405167157) cover image


Variant Haemoglobins – A Guide to Identification is based on the premise that any single diagnostic technique offers only a very provisional identification of a variant haemoglobin. In routine diagnostic practice two techniques are needed as a minimum, with the results being interpreted in the light of the clinical details, blood count, blood film and ethnic origin. This book covers 150 normal and variant haemoglobins that have been studied and carefully documented.

Variant Haemoglobins has four introductory chapters followed by an invaluable atlas. The introductory chapters cover

  • the genetics of haemoglobin synthesis
  • the principles of tests employed for identification
  • common haemoglobins of major clinical or diagnostic importance
  • thalassaemias and related conditions

The atlas section comprises 170 full colour pages in which each variant haemoglobin or combination of haemoglobins is illustrated by cellulose acetate electrophoresis at alkaline pH, agarose gel electrophoresis at acid pH, isoelectric focusing and one or more HPLC traces. For ease of reference, the atlas pages are arranged according to the retention time of each haemoglobin on HPLC, this becoming increasingly the primary technique employed in haemoglobin identification.

Bringing a mix of necessary scientific expertise and clinical knowledge, each author has more than 30 years experience in the diagnosis of variant haemoglobins.

Providing otherwise unavailable information, this unique and practical guide

  • is illustrated with over 700 high quality colour digital images plus flow charts and line diagrams
  • covers common and important haemoglobin variants, in addition to many rarer ones
  • is an essential reference source for diagnosis in the haematology laboratory

A remarkably useful book, Variant Haemoglobins will be valuable for haematopathologists, clinical and laboratory haematologists in practice and in training and all laboratory staff involved in haemoglobinopathy diagnosis.

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Table of Contents


1 Globin genes and haemoglobin.

2 Diagnostic procedures and principles of commonly used tests.

3 Common haemoglobins of major clinical or diagnostic importance.

4 The thalassaemias and related conditions.

Atlas pages.

Technical notes to aid in interpretation of the following atlas pages -- Please read first!

Table technical notes.


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Author Information

Barbara J.Bain MB BS, FRACP, FRCPath

Professor of Diagnostic Haematology

St Mary’s Hospital Campus of Imperial College Faculty of Medicine

St Mary’s Hospital


Barbara J. Wild PhD FIBMS

Clinical Scientist

Haemoglobinopathy Genetics Centre

University College Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust


Adrian D. Stephens MB BS, MD, FRCPath

Honorary Consultant Haematologist

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Lorraine Phelan MIBMS

Haemoglobinopathy BMS Lead

Haematology Laboratory, St Mary’s Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust


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"Nevertheless, this is a very helpful guide and will be of great service to hospital diagnostic laboratories undertaking the analysis of variant haemoglobins around the world. Indeed one hopes an overseas edition will be produced for use in the less affluent parts of the globe." (ACP News, 1 March 2012)


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