New indices from the H*2 analyser improve differentiation between heterozygous beta or delta beta thalassaemia and iron-deficiency anaemia.Clin Lab Haematol 1995; 17(2):151-5CL
The two main causes of microcytic and hypochromic anaemia are iron deficiency (IDA) and thalassaemia (THAL) traits. In the Mediterranean area there is a high prevalence of beta and delta-beta THAL minor. The differentiation between these causes of microcytosis can be significantly improved with two new indices, percentage of microcytes (%Mi) and percentage of hypochromic red blood cells (%Hy), and the direct determination of MCHC, provided by the technological advances of the H*2 analyser. Our discriminant analysis, based on the minimization of Wilk's lambda (lambda) criterion, was used to select the best predictive variables to differentiate between IDA and THAL and has resulted in the highest diagnostic efficiency published to date. The discriminant function obtained is a simple linear combination of the following variables: D = 1.145 RBC-0.174 MCV + 0.091 MCHC + 0.787 square root of (%Hy/%Mi)-22.119. The overall correct classification was 97.6% on the training sample (79 THAL and 90 IDA) and 96.7% on a validation sample of microcytic patients (72 THAL and 80 IDA). The sensitivity and diagnostic specificity were 97.5% and 97.8%, respectively, for the training sample, and 95.8% and 97.5% for the control group.