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A Precision Medicine Tool for Measurement and Monitoring of Hemoglobin S in Sickle Cell Disease Patients Receiving Transfusion Therapy

Xiaoxi Yang1, Taylor D. Osborne1, Martha Delahunty2, Marilyn J. Telen2, Jason S. Kim1
1BioMedomics Inc., 2Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center


Sickle cell disease (SCD) causes many severe health complications, including anemia, stroke, and acute chest syndrome. Red blood cell transfusion is the most commonly used therapy to treat or prevent these devastating complications. Other therapies include hydroxyurea therapy as well as bone marrow transplantation. Chronic intermittent transfusion is especially indicated to prevent recurrent strokes. However, transfusion therapy is associated with significant adverse effects (e.g., alloimmunization and iron overload). The point-of-care (POC) lateral flow immunoassay used here quantifies the %HbS in 15 min using a small patient blood sample. Utilizing this information, the healthcare provider is able to adjust blood transfusion volume for SCD patients to achieve the desired target HbS (most often <30%), while reducing the risk of transfusion-related complications. When compared to laboratory hemoglobin electrophoresis data for 38 whole blood samples, the POC test performed with very high correlation and linear fit (slope = 0.9949, R2 = 0.9751). The strong agreement between the two hemoglobin S percentage (%HbS) quantifying methods shows that 89.5% of samples fall within ±5.2% HbS bias. The calibration for quantifying %HbS is built into the device to allow for an automated quantification of %HbS. This time- and cost-effective POC test thus allows the healthcare provider to make timely informed decisions when treating SCD patients, using accurate and updated data.

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