Haemoglobin F (HbF) - flow cytometry

Last updated: Wednesday, 28, April, 2004
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 5 mL blood in EDTA tube.


Cytoplasmic staining for HbF with anti-HbF monoclonal antibody.

Fetal erythrocytes stain positively. Normal adult erythrocytes do not.


Detection and quantitation of feto-maternal haemorrhage.

Studies in th thalassaemias.


Normal adult cells are negative, adult fetal cells are weak positive (HbF~10% in each cell) and true fetal cells are bright positive (100% HbF).

The proportion of fetal cells is calculated as a percentage of all red cells. The flow cytometric method provides a more accurate and objective quantitation of fetal cells in the maternal circulation.


Olsen SH et al. Lab Haematol 1996; 1:7.