Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase test

What is Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Test?

A glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) test checks for the level of an enzyme of the same name in one’s blood. The G6PD enzyme treats glucose molecules so that red blood cells can use it as an energy source. If the G6PD enzyme levels in the body are low, then it indicates health problems like anemia.

Types of G6PD Test

The two types of G6PD tests are:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): A G6PD test may be some of the tests included in a CBC. If a person has low RBCs then the physician may order a G6PD test.
  • G6PD Test: This test checks for the specific levels of G6PD enzyme in one's blood.

Preparation for G6PD Test

It typically does not require any special preparation. However, one can consult with their healthcare provider if they need to take any particular measure before taking the test.

Procedure of G6PD Test

In a G6PD test, blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm. The sample is further analyzed in the laboratory. The G6PD levels are checked with the help of various sophisticated computer programs, and the results are then compared with the normal range.

Risks Involved in the G6PD Test

Since a small amount of a blood sample is taken, there are negligible risks involved in this test.

Why is the G6PD Test Done?

A G6PD test is usually done to diagnose health conditions like aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, and favism. It is also done to detect any underlying genetic disorders.

When is the G6PD Test Ordered?

A physician may order a G6PD test if a person is showing signs of anemia. A G6PD test helps to diagnose or rule out any underlying genetic disorder. If an individual is taking any medication, it is important for the physician to have the complete knowledge about the G6PD levels.