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Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G-6-PD)

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The measurement of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase is used in the investigation of patients with hemolytic anemia and to check for possible enzyme deficiency.

Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is an enzyme normally present in erythrocytes. This enzyme is part of the biochemical pathway of pentose phosphate that metabolizes glucose and works to protect cells from damage caused by oxidizing agents. G6PD deficiency is a sex-linked genetic disorder that occurs predominantly in men and leads to hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice, and red blood cell hemolysis, causing anemia after taking certain medications.

Medications and substances that can cause hemolytic episodes in subjects with deficiency of the enzyme are acetanilide, acetyl phenylhydrazine, antipyrine, ascorbic acid, acetylsalicylic acid, chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid, naphthalene, nitrofurantoin, nitrofuran, pentaquine, phenacetin, phenylhydrazine, primaquine probenecid, quinacrine, quinidine, quinine, sulfonamides, vitamin K.

Other conditions that can lead to hemolysis include diabetic acidosis, eating fava beans (favism), infections (viral, bacterial), and septicemia.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Anemia (malignant, megaloblastic), hepatic coma, hyperthyroidism, leptospirosis, myocardial infarction, Werlhof's disease (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura).
  • Decrease: Anemia (congenital hemolytic non-spherocytic), favism, congenital G6PD deficiency, non-immune hemolytic disease of the newborn. Drugs: cefoperazone/sulbactam, gentamicin sulfate, netilmicin sulfate, tocopherol.



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

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