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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Alpha Thalassemia. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Densitometer Tracings

A densitometer tracing of the hemoglobin electrophoresis gel is made in order to quantitate the bands present. The image displayed below is a normal gel and its corresponding tracing.

Hemoglobin A is 98% and A2 is 1.5%. Notice that hemoglobin F is usually present in small enough amounts that its tracing may blend into that of hemoglobin A. A separate procedure may need to be performed if quantitation of hemoglobin F is important.