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HemoCue haemoglobin systems--a clarification.


With reference to the technical issues raised by Agarwal et al (1) and Sharma et al (2) relative to the HemoCue haemoglobin systems, I would on HemoCue's behalf, like to submit the following response:

The preferred method to verify the accuracy of a haemoglobinometer is the International Committee for Standardization in Haematology (ICSH) reference measurement of haemoglobin as haemiglobincyanide in whole blood, using a spectrophotometer which has been calibrated directly by the WHO/ICSH primary international reference standard or by means of a commercial standard that has been manufactured in accordance with the ICSH specifications and has been shown to be directly traceable to the primary standard. HemoCue is using the ICSH reference method to calibrate and quality control all haemoglobin instruments and all cuvette batches manufactured by the company.

There have been numerous studies with the HemoCue haemoglobin systems, which have shown excellent correlation with reference haemoglobinometry (3). HemoCue's haemoglobin systems are also included in a large number of external quality assessment programmes (proficiency testing programmes) like the UKNEQAS, EQALIS, NOKLUS, Rilibak, and CAP. HemoCue results are without exception well within the acceptable ranges; hence confirming the accuracy of the systems compared to the ICSH reference method and/or central laboratory systems.

Sharma et al (2) have raised the question of whether the HemoCue Hb [201.sup.+] model used in the NFHS-3 survey is more accurate than its predecessor used in the NFHS2 survey, the HemoCue B-Hemoglobin system. The improvement of the Hb [201.sup.+] system is only related to instrument design and hardware, such as a smaller instrument size and the addition of an automatic calibration verification (selftest). The analytic method is identical for both systems and the results are fully comparable.

Karin Dahllof

Global Product/Marketing Manager

HemoCue AB, Box 1201

SE-262 23 Angelholm Sweden



(1.) Agarwal KN, Agarwal DK, Sharma A, Sharma K, Prasad K, Kalita MC, et al. Prevalance of anaemia in pregnant and lactating women in India. Indian J Med Res 2006; 124 : 173-84.

(2.) Sharma A, Agarwal KN. Authors' response. Indian J Med Res 2007; 125 : 101.

(3.) Gupta K, Arnold F, Kishor, S, Parasuraman S. Concern on prevalence of anaemia in pregnant and lactating women in India. Indian J Med Res 2007; 125 : 99-101.
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Title Annotation:Correspondence
Author:Dahllof, Karin
Publication:Indian Journal of Medical Research
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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