The Hemoglobin (Hb) Solubility Blood Test evaluates for the presence of the abnormal hemoglobin S (Hb S or Hgb S). Individuals with two copies of the Hb S gene (homozygous) have sickle cell anemia, also known as sickle cell disease. Individuals with one Hb S gene and one normal hemoglobin gene (heterozygous) have sickle cell trait.
Found in red blood cells (RBCs), hemoglobin binds to oxygen and helps transport it throughout the body. Hb S can alter the shape of RBCs from a round disc into a sickle shape, which prevents the RBCs from flowing smoothly through the blood vessels, reduces the hemoglobin’s oxygen-carrying ability, and causes premature destruction of the cells. Individuals with sickle cell disease cannot produce RBCs to replace the destroyed cells fast enough, and as a result, can experience a severe anemic episode characterized by extended periods of pain and a variety of complications.
The Hemoglobin Solubility Test detects Hb S, which will be present in patients with both sickle cell anemia and sickle cell trait, but results will not distinguish between the two conditions. Positive tests can be confirmed with Walk-In Lab’s Hemoglobin Fractionation test.
The Hemoglobin Solubility Test goes by a variety of names: Hb S, Hemoglobin S, Hgb Solubility, Sickle Cell Preparation, Sickle Cell, Solubility Test, Sickle Cell Test, Sickle Prep, and Sickledex. No fasting is required prior to the test, and results will be available within two to three days. A prior doctor’s visit is not required to order this test. Patients also do not need insurance.