What is the role of immunotyping in the workup of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Sara J Grethlein, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Peripheral blood is the most suitable specimen for immunophenotyping for PNH, and it is important to screen both RBCs and granulocytes, because RBC transfusions are common among these patients and granulocytes may not be present in severe hypoplastic anemia patients.

Studies have shown that the size of the PNH clone correlates with the risk for venous thrombosis. Patients with less than 50% PNH granulocytes seldom develop thrombosis, whereas patients with larger clone sizes appear to be at great risk and will require anticoagulation.


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