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Heinz bodies

Category Haematology
Test background

Heinz bodies are small irregular, deep purple-stained granules found in red blood cells due to oxidation of the haemoglobin molecules. They are seen in premature infants, in certain forms of drug sensitivity, and characteristically in G6PD deficiency following administration of oxidant drugs, eg. primaquine. They are classically seen in unstable haemoglobins, also in certain types of hereditary haemolytic anaemia and sometimes in patients with thalassaemia.

Clinical Indications

This is normally a reflexed test generated by Haematology medical or laboratory staff during haemoglobinopathy screening.

Sample & container required 4 mL EDTA (lavender top) adults: 0.5 mL EDTA (lavender top) paediatrics
Sample volume 0.5 mL adult tube: 0.2 mL paediatric tube
Turnaround time 1-3 days depending on the day of arrival