The red blood cell osmotic fragility test is based on the measure of the resistance of red blood cells to lysis as a function of decreasing NaCl concentration. Up to now, several methods have been used for recording these data, but for the first time, the human red blood cell osmotic fragility confidence interval using the Orcutt mathematical model was determined. The absorbance of the hemoglobin measured at 540 nm, released by the red blood cells of 40 healthy adult individuals, was fitted to the equation Absorbance=p3 erfc ([NaCl] - p1/p2); p3 measures one half the absorbance produced by maximum red blood cell hemolysis, p1 is the [NaCl] producing 50% red blood cell hemolysis, and p2 is the dispersion in [NaCl] producing red blood cell hemolysis. Confidence intervals (mean+/-SD) for the three parameters were as follows: p1=4.2718+/-0.1848; p2=0.1947+/-0.0391, and p3=0.5568+0.0426. The usefulness of this osmotic fragility data analysis method using two pathological samples (beta-thalassemia minor and hereditary spherocytosis) was demonstrated. Parameters of the fitted data were compared with those obtained by the conventional recording method of Beutler.
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