Objectives: To analyze the results of hemoglobin electrophoresis (HE) in the routine laboratory of a tertiary hospital in Kuwait and to review the common types of hemoglobinopathies prevalent in the country. Methods: This was a prospective study of HE performed on 2,386 samples in Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, which serves more than 30% of the population of Kuwait, from June 1997 to May 1998. Results: Of the 2,386 HE tests, only 561 (23.5%) had abnormal hemoglobin genotypes. The most commonly identified hemoglobinopathies were β-thalassemia minor (14%), sickle cell trait (6%), sickle cell anemia (0.9%), Sβ⁰thal (0.8%) and Sβ+thal (0.8%). Two rare hemoglobin variants, Hb DPunjab and Hb E, were encountered. Conclusion: HE yielded only 23.5% abnormal results, thus indicating the need to streamline requests for the test. The test should be limited to patients with hematological and clinical features suggestive of hemoglobinopathies or to individuals with a positive family history.

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