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May 5, 1962

The Methemoglobin Reduction Test for Primaquine-Type Sensitivity of Erythrocytes: A Simplified Procedure for Detecting a Specific Hypersusceptibility to Drug Hemolysis

Author Affiliations

U.S. Army; Chicago

JAMA. 1962;180(5):386-388. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050180032008

THE INCREASING IMPORTANCE in medicine of the inherited susceptibility to hemolysis, known as primaquine-type sensitivity or erythrocytic glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency, has been summarized by Kellermeyer et al., in this issue of THE JOURNAL. Several laboratory methods have been devised for the identification of this primaquine-type sensitivity of red blood cells. The Methemoglobin Reduction Test developed by Brewer et al. has several advantages over previous tests. It is simple and inexpensive to perform; it clearly separates individuals with normal erythrocytes from those with full susceptibility to hemolysis; and it allows semiquantitative evaluation of intermediate susceptibility.

The following simplification of the Methemoglobin Reduction Test increases its value and practicability for use in diagnosis. Certain steps used in the original method have been omitted or modified in order to increase the versatility of the procedure, e.g., the preparation of the incubation tubes in advance. The end-point is determined visually by gross inspection.