Bedside hemoglobinometry in hemodialysis patients: Lessons from point-of-care testing

Rajiv Agarwal, Tracy Heinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The HemoCue B-hemoglobin test system (HemoCue, Inc., Mission Viejo, CA) is a photometric method for rapid bedside determination of hemoglobin (Hb). We compared the performance of HemoCue measured Hb against Coulter STK-S (CSTK) measured Hb in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients in two different settings. In the first setting, Hemocue analysis was performed by multiple HD technicians (n = 132). In the second setting, a nurse trained in proper specimen handling performed the HemoCue analysis (n = 74). Simultaneous measurement of Hb by the CSTK method was performed. First setting: Hb was 11.1 ± 1.66 (SD) g/dl by CSTK and 11.7 ± 2.29 g/dl by HemoCue. The HemoCue method consistently overestimated Hb by an average (SD) of 0.63 (1.267) g/dl (95% Cl = 0.42 to 0.85). Hb was overestimated in 25.7% and underestimated in 2.3% of the patients by 1 g/dl or more. Thus, the HemoCue system was accurate within 1 g/dl only 72 % of the time. Second setting: HemoCue overestimated Hb by an average (SD) of 0.29 (0.52) g/dl (95% Cl, 0.17 to 0.41). Only 4% of all patients had errors in estimation of 1 g/dl or more. Thus, HemoCue was accurate in 96% of the patients within 1 g/dl. After reviewing the two protocols, the primary difference in the two studies was the technique used to obtain the specimens. When performed properly, Hb testing using the HemoCue testing system had a high level of agreement with CSTK. Appropriate training in specimen handling, as well as test performance, will increase accuracy and reliability of bedside hemoglobinometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-243
Number of pages4
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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