- serum hemoglobin
- total hemoglobin
Who is a candidate for the test?
- during pregnancy
- during infancy
- when a person has symptoms of anemia, such as lack of energy, pale skin, and shortness of breath
- to measure progress when a person is being treated for anemia
- when family history or ethnic or racial background puts a person at risk for a blood disorder, such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia.
How is the test performed?
What is involved in preparation for the test?
What do the test results mean?
- newborns - 14 to 20 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter of blood (g/dl)
- children 6 months to 6 years -- 9.5-14 g/dl
- children 6 to 18 years - 10 to 15.5 g/dl
- men 18 or older - 14 to 18 g/dl
- women 18 or older -12 to 16 g/dl
- pregnant women -- at least 11 g/dl
- excessive menstrual bleeding in women
- gastrointestinal bleeding, such as that from bleeding peptic ulcers and colon cancer
- increased nutritional needs, which occurs during rapid growth periods of childhood and in pregnancy
- inherited causes, such as sickle cell disease, a condition in which red cells are misshaped because of an abnormal hemoglobin molecule
- dehydration. The hemoglobin concentration is high in the blood sample simply because the person has lost blood fluid volume. The hemoglobin value will normalize once the person is re-hydrated.
- chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema, which is usually due to smoking cigarettes
- blood cancer, such as a cancer called polycythemia vera
Anderson KN, Anderson LE, Glanze WD. Mosby's medical, nursing, and allied health dictionary, 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1998.
Miller BF, Keane, CB. Encyclopedia and dictionary of medicine, nursing, and allied health, 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: WB Saunders Company, 1987.
Mosby's manual of diagnostic and laboratory tests. Kathleen D. Pagana and Timothy J. Pagana. St. Louis: Mosby, 1998. (256)
Report of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to clinical preventive services, 2nd ed. Alexandria, Virginia: International Medical Publishing, 1996.