Flow cytometry of red cells treated with eosin-5-maleimide (E5M) can aid in the diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis.

Erythrocyte membrane proteins affected in hereditary spherocytosis:

(1) ankyrin-1

(2) band 3

(3) beta-spectrin

(4) alpha-spectrin

(5) protein 4.2


Method: fluorescent flow cytometry


Eosin-5'-maleimide (EMA) binds to band 3 and other membrane proteins.


In hereditary spherocytosis these proteins are reduced so there is a decrease in the intensity of the fluorescence (left shift)

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