What is the role of serum haptoglobin measurement in the workup of hemolytic anemia?

Updated: May 27, 2021
  • Author: Srikanth Nagalla, MD, MS, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

A low serum haptoglobin level is a criterion for moderate-to-severe hemolysis.

A decrease in serum haptoglobin is more likely in intravascular hemolysis than in extravascular hemolysis.

However, it is an acute phase reactant. Therefore, haptoglobin levels can be normal or elevated despite significant hemolysis in patients with infections and in other reactive states.


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