/SiteAssets/Images/FMOLHSBlankBanner.png

Health Information

Osmotic fragility test
Bookmarks

Osmotic fragility test

Print-Friendly  

Osmotic fragility is a blood test to detect whether red blood cells are more likely to break down.

A blood sample is needed.

In the laboratory, red blood cells are tested with a solution that makes them swell in order to determine how fragile they are.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • How the Test is Performed

    A blood sample is needed.

    In the laboratory, red blood cells are tested with a solution that makes them swell in order to determine how fragile they are.

  • How to Prepare for the Test

    No special preparation is necessary for this test.

  • How the Test will Feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

  • Why the Test is Performed

    This test is done to detect hereditary spherocytosis and thalassemia. Hereditary spherocytosis makes red blood cells more fragile than normal. With thalassemia, red blood cells are more fragile than normal, but a larger number are less fragile than normal.

  • Normal Results

    A negative test is normal.

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean

    • Thalassemia
    • Hereditary spherocytosis
  • Risks

    Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another, and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

    Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fainting or feeling light-headed
    • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
    • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Related Information

  Congenital spheroc...Thalassemia    

References

Elghetany MT, Banki K. Erythrocytic disorders. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 32.

Gallagher PG, Jarolim P. Red blood cell membrane disorders. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, et al., eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 43.

BACK TO TOP 

Review Date: 2/24/2014  

Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

 
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and Google Chrome browser.