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Valencia hospital discovers red blood cell which affects diabetes blood sugar readings
By thinkSPAIN Team Sun, Feb 1, 2015
SCIENTISTS at a Valencia hospital have discovered a type of red blood cell which 'interferes' with diabetes test results, making them appear either better or worse than they are in reality.
Dr Carmen Quiñones from the laboratory at the Hospital Clínico in the city says her team began to suspect an element in the blood was causing a false reading when a diabetic patient went for a routine test and his levels of the haemoglobin known as glycade was 'abnormally low' – more in the range of that seen by a patient who is not diabetic.
Glycade is the blood cell which is used as a blood-sugar indicator in diabetes sufferers.
After carrying out a DNA sequencing on the patient, a type of haemoglobin which has not yet been catalogued was found.
It has been named the Haemoglobin J Valencia.
Now that it has been detected, it means medics will be able to take it into account and test for it to avoid incorrect diagnoses.
The red blood cell in question can lead to patients being erroneously diagnosed as diabetic, or testing negative for diabetes when they do in fact suffer from it.
It also skews the blood sugar readings in confirmed patients, making levels appear higher or lower, and can end up with incorrect medication being prescribed.
The blood cell has now been recorded in the HbVar catalogue, or Database of Human Haemoglobin Variants and Thalassemias.
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