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Capillary Isoelectric Focusing And High-performance Cation-exchange Chromatography Compared For Qualitative And Quantitative Analysis Of Hemoglobin Variants

Nathalie Mario, Bruno Baudin, Christian Aussel, Jacqueline Giboudeau

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Abstract We have developed two assays for complete analysis of hemoglobins (Hbs) in the field of hemoglobinopathies: a high-performance cation-exchange liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay on the weak cation-exchanger Poly Cat A and a two-step capillary isoelectric focusing (CIEF) assay on the neutral-coated capillary from Beckman in a narrow pH gradient. The resolution was satisfactory for both HPLC and CIEF and allowed separation of normal and common abnormal Hbs, i.e., Hb A, Hb F, Hb A2, Hb S, Hb C, and Hb E; slight differences were shown for the resolution of unusual variants such as Hb C-Harlem and Hb D-Punjab. The reproducibility of retention times was satisfactory as well for HPLC (CV 3.3%) and CIEF (CV 4.9%). The imprecision of quantification of Hb A2, evaluated at two concentrations, and of Hb F and Hb S was <5%, except for low concentrations of Hb A2quantified by CIEF. Quantitative data obtained for these three Hb forms were highly correlated between the two assays. These results suggest that the new CIEF assay can be competitive with HPLC for complete routine analysis of Hb variants.