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Hereditary Spherocytosis (HS) is the most common erythrocyte membrane disorder causing hemolytic anemia. The wide heterogeneity of both clinical and laboratory manifestations of HS contributes to difficulties associated with the diagnosis of this disorder. Although massive data previously reported worldwide, there is yet no data on HS among the Tunisian population. Here we aim to characterize HS in Tunisian patients at biochemical and cellular levels, identify the membrane protein deficiency, and compare the accuracy of the diagnostic tests to identify the most appropriate assay for HS diagnosis. We investigated 81 patients with hemolytic anemia and 167 normal controls. The exploration of HS based on clinical and family history, physical examination, and the results of laboratory tests: blood smear, osmotic fragility test (OFT), cryohemolysis test (CT), pink test (PT), eosine-5'-maleimide (EMA) test, and erythrocyte membrane protein electrophoresis. We identified 21 patients with HS, classified as severe (6/21;28.5%), moderate (10/21;47.6%), and mild (5/21;23.8%). The most prevalent protein deficiency was the band 3 protein detected in ten Tunisian HS patients. The EMA test showed a high specificity (97.5%) and sensitivity (94.7%) for HS diagnosis compared to the other screening tests. Interestingly, fourteen among sixteen patients presenting with homozygous sickle cells HbSS showed an increase of EMA fluorescence intensity compared to other anemic patients. Our study highlights the efficiency of the EMA dye for the detection of HS whatever the nature of the involved protein deficiency. We report for the first time, the most prevalent protein deficiency among Tunisians with HS. Moreover, we found that the combination of the EMA-binding test with PT or incubated OFT improves the diagnosis sensitivity while maintaining a good specificity. © Copyright by the Author(s). Published by Cell Physiol Biochem Press.


Nawel Trabelsi, Ghada Bouguerra, Faten Haddad, Monia Ouederni, Imen Darragi, Imen Boudrigua, Dorra Chaouachi, Mbarka Barmat, Chaker Fouzai, Mohamed Bejaoui, Samia Menif, Imen Kraiem, Salem Abbes. Biochemical, Cellular, and Proteomic Characterization of Hereditary Spherocytosis Among Tunisians. Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. 2021 Mar 06;55(1):117-129

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PMID: 33667330

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