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Membrane rigidity and fragility can be measured by:

 # Membrane rigidity and fragility can be measured by:
a. Osmocytometer
b. Spherocytometer
c. Ektacytometer
d. Viscometer



The correct answer is C. Etacytometer. 

Osmotic gradient ektacytometry measures RBC deformability under a defined shear stress as a function of suspending medium osmolality. The test is used to evaluate for inherited RBC membrane disorders, which are commonly responsible for hemolytic anemia, differentiating among hereditary spherocytosis (HS), hereditary elliptocytosis (HE) and pyropoikilocytosis (HPP), Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO) and hereditary stomatocytosis (HSt).

Osmotic Gradient Ektacytometry at Cincinnati Children's.Ektacytometry is recommended as the next step after hemoglobin electrophoresis in the diagnosis of a non-immune hemolytic anemia. An abnormal ektacytometry profile confirms a red cell membrane disorder and assists with the differential diagnosis between hereditary spherocytosis versus elliptocytosis / pyropoikilocytosis versus xerocytosis. This is particularly important in xerocytosis where splenectomy is contraindicated because it precipitously increases the risk for life-threatening thrombophilia. Ektacytometry in a patient with a non-transfusion dependent hemolytic anemia may save the need to perform a hereditary hemolytic anemia genetic panel. It can also help focus the genetic workup to a red cell membrane panel if ektacytometry is positive or to a red cell enzyme panel if ektacytometry is negative.



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