Evaluation of the Haemoglobin Colour Scale and comparison with the HemoCue haemoglobin assay.Bull World Health Organ. 2002; 80(10):813-6.BW
To evaluate the Haemoglobin Colour Scale developed by WHO for estimating haemoglobin concentration and to compare the results obtained using it and the HemoCue assay with those determined using a reference method, the Technicon H3 analyser.
The Colour Scale and HemoCue assay were used to test 408 blood samples. Subsequently, Bland-Altman plots were determined and the proximity of the test results to those obtained using the reference method was determined.
The mean difference between the Haemoglobin Colour Scale and the reference method was 0.19 g/dl (95% confidence interval: 3.50 g/dl below to 3.11 g/dl above); the corresponding value for the HemoCue assay was 0.50 g/dl (1.16 g/dl below to 0.16 g/dl above). Only 46.08% of the results obtained by means of the Colour Scale were within 1.0 g/dl of the reference method, whereas 95.34% of the HemoCue results fell within this limit; 22.79% of the Colour Scale results but none of the HemoCue results lay more than 2.0 g/dl from the reference method.
The Haemoglobin Colour Scale test is too inaccurate for general use, particularly if devices such as the HemoCue are available.