METHODS: Haemoglobin variants were identified by HbA1c analysis in 93 of 3522 samples sent to our laboratory in a period of 1 month. Haemoglobin analysis identified HbE trait in 81 of 93 samples. To determine the influence of HbE trait on HbA1c analysis by Variant II Tubo 2.0, boronate affinity high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method (Primus PDQ) was used as the comparison method. Two stage linear regression analysis, Bland Altman plot and Deming regression analysis were performed to analyse whether the presence of HbE trait produced a statistically significant difference in the results. The total allowable error for HbA1c by the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists (RCPA) external quality assurance is 5%. Hence clinically significant difference is more than 5% at the medical decision level of 6% and 9%.
RESULTS: Statistically and clinically significant higher results were observed in Variant II Turbo 2.0 due to the presence of HbE trait. A positive bias of ∼10% was observed at the medical decision levels.
CONCLUSION: Laboratories should be cautious when evaluating HbA1c results in the presence of haemoglobin variants.
METHODS: The Filipino β-deletion was identified using gap-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the parents of transfusion dependent β-thalassaemia patients who were homozygous for the Filipino β-deletion in the indigenous population of Sabah, Malaysia. Hb subtypes were quantified on the BioRad Variant II Hb analyser. Concurrent α-thalassaemia was identified by multiplex gap-PCR for deletions and amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS)-PCR for non-deletional mutations.
RESULTS: The mean HbA2 level for Filipino β-thalassaemia trait was 5.9 ± 0.47 and with coinheritance of α-thalassaemia was 6.3 ± 0.44 (-α heterozygous) and 6.7 ± 0.36 (-α homozygous). The HbA2 levels were all >4% in keeping with the findings of classical β-thalassaemia trait and significantly higher than levels seen in non-deletional forms of β-thalassaemia.
CONCLUSION: The HbA2 level measured on the BioRad Variant II Hb analyser was lower than the level in the first description of the Filipino β-thalassaemia. β-thalassaemia trait with coinheritance of α-thalassaemia (-α) is associated with significantly higher HbA2 level.
METHODS: Fifty-three formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded nasopharyngeal carcinoma tissue blocks were chosen for this study. The presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was determined by in situ hybridisation using an EBER probe. p53 protein expression was detected using immunohistochemistry. Simultaneously, amplifications by PCR were performed for p53 exons 5 to 8, followed by mutation screening via single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). Sequencing of all the four exons was performed in five samples with mobility shift. To rule out false negative results by SSCP, 13 samples with p53 overexpression and five samples with low p53 expression were randomly selected and sequenced.
RESULTS: There was no mutation found in exons 5 to 8 in all the samples despite 46 (87%) of them having high p53 levels. EBV was detected in 51 (96%) out of 53 samples. There was no statistically significant association between p53 expression level and EBV presence.
CONCLUSIONS: High-intensity staining for p53 by immunohistochemistry was common in our series of NPC tissue samples but was not associated with 'hot spot' mutations of exons 5-8 of the gene. We did not find a significant relationship between the expression level of p53 and presence of EBV. Our study confirms that mutation of the DNA-binding domain of p53 is rare in NPC.