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Purpose: The use of red blood cell deformability measurements in the diagnosis of hemolytie anemia is reviewed.

Patients and Methods: Results from 500 individuals are discussed. Erythrocytes were characterized by the automated measurement of cell deformability as the tonicity of the medium is varied (osmotic scan ektacytometry).

Results: The measurement yields a reliable identification of hemolytie anemias caused by deficiencies or abnormalities in erythrocyte structural proteins. In addition, it can. with good reliability, signal the presence of a glycolytic enzyme deficiency. The scan is complete in 15 min, and can therefore give a rapid indication of the type of hemolytie anemia. The osmotic scans of other hemolytie anemias are also discussed.

Conclusion: The analysis of red blood cell deformability can offer a valuable addition to diagnostic methods in hemolytie anemia.

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.