Differential diagnosis of hereditary hemolytic anemias in a single multiscreening test by TGA/chemometrics†
A multi-screening test based on the coupling of thermogravimetry and chemometrics was optimized for the differential diagnosis of hereditary hemolytic anemias. The novel test is able to simultaneously perform a simple and fast diagnosis of sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, hereditary spherocytosis and hereditary elliptocytosis in a single analysis of a few microliters of non-pretreated whole blood. The thermogravimetric profile of blood from patients affected by such disorders was found to be characteristic of a specific anemic status or a disorder due to membrane defects. In addition, chemometric tools were used to validate a model of prediction to process the thermogravimetric curves and to obtain in 1 hour an accurate diagnosis. The effectiveness of the novel test was evaluated by comparing results with the confirmatory analyses specific for each disorder. The TGA/chemometric test made it possible to perform a first level test of congenital erythrocyte defects, including the hemoglobinopathies and disorders due to membrane defects with the same accuracy of confirmatory analyses obtained by molecular investigation. In addition, the novel test was used for the diagnosis of a number of Italian difficult cases, including neonatal patients for which the conventional screening tests did not manage to obtain a diagnosis confirming the high prediction ability of the single multiscreening test.