5 mL blood in EDTA.

2 mL blood in special paediatric EDTA tube.


Part of Full blood count; automated analyser or haemoglobinometer.

Most methods based on spectrophotometry.

Reference Interval:

Will vary according to local reference range – consult laboratory.

See Tables in WHO reference below.


Suspected anaemia or erythrocytosis.


Anaemia is defined as a Hb below normal range for age and gender.

Further investigation of the cause of anaemia is guided by clinical features, blood film and red cell indices (MCV, MCH, MCHC).

The Hb is elevated in erythrocytosis.


Bain BJ et al. Dacie and Lewis Practical Haematology. 11th Ed. 2012. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.

World Health Organization. Haemoglobin concentrations for the diagnosis of anaemia and assessment of severity. 2011. Geneva: WHO.