Effects of common hemoglobin variants on HbA1c measurements in China: results for α- and β-globin variants measured by six methods

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Background:HbA1c is a widely used biomarker for diabetes mellitus management. Here, we evaluated the accuracy of six methods for determining HbA1c values in Chinese patients with common α- and β-globin chains variants in China.Methods:Blood samples from normal subjects and individuals exhibiting hemoglobin variants were analyzed for HbA1c, using Sebia Capillarys 2 Flex Piercing (C2FP), Bio-Rad Variant II Turbo 2.0, Tosoh HLC-723 G8 (ver. 5.24), Arkray ADAMS A1c HA-8180V fast mode, Cobas c501 and Trinity Ultra2 systems.Results:DNA sequencing revealed five common β-globin chain variants and three common α-globin chain variants. The most common variant was Hb E, followed by Hb New York, Hb J-Bangkok, Hb G-Coushatta, Hb Q-Thailand, Hb G-Honolulu, Hb Ube-2 and Hb G-Taipei. Variant II Turbo 2.0, Ultra2 and Cobas c501 showed good agreement with C2FP for most samples with variants. HLC-723 G8 yielded no HbA1c values for Hb J-Bangkok, Hb Q-Thailand and Hb G-Honolulu. Samples with Hb E, Hb G-Coushatta, Hb G-Taipei and Hb Ube-2 produced significant negative biases for HLC-723 G8. HA-8180V showed statistically significant differences for Hb E, Hb G-Coushatta, Hb G-Taipei, Hb Q-Thailand and Hb G-Honolulu. HA-8180V yielded no HbA1c values for Hb J-Bangkok. All methods showed good agreement for samples with Hb New York.Conclusions:Some common hemoglobin variants can interfere with HbA1c determination by the most popular methods in China.

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