Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) - red cell

Last updated: Wednesday, 05, December, 2007

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Item Process

5 mL blood in ACD, lithium heparin or EDTA.


Semi-quantitative fluorescence test and methaemoglobin reduction test; enzyme assay.

Molecular genetics techniques are available - consult pathologist.

Reference Interval

The G6PD assay reference intervals are:

3.0-4.2 IU/1010 red cells (WHO)
4.6-13.5 IU/g Hb.

Newborns and infants may have values that deviate from these values by 150%.


Investigation of haemolytic anaemia, particularly when haemolysis is related to ingestion of broad beans, or to the use of oxidant drugs (eg, anti-malarials, sulphonamides).

The specific enzyme assay confirms deficiency.


Low levels indicate red cell G-6-PD deficiency.

Genetic variants occur in different racial groups; clinically significant haemolysis may be seen in patients from the Mediterranean, SE Asia and Africa.

Some G-6-PD deficient individuals have increased susceptibility to oxidant drug haemolysis.


Beutler E. Blood 1994; 84(11): 3613-3636