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Ham test

Definition

The Ham test is a blood test to diagnose paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). This rare condition causes red blood cells to die before they should. The Ham test checks whether red blood cells become more fragile when they are placed in mild acid.

Today, the Ham test has been replaced by a test that uses flow cytometry to diagnose PNH.

Alternative Names

Acid hemolysin test; Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria - Ham test; PNH - Ham test

References

Brodsky RA. Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 31.


Review Date: 1/19/2018
Reviewed By: Richard LoCicero, MD, private practice specializing in hematology and medical oncology, Longsteet Cancer Center, Gainesville, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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