Alternative tests

• Sucrose lysis—an alternative method of complement activation is by mixing serum with a low ionic strength solution such as sucrose. Sensitivity of this test is high but specificity is low—i.e. the opposite of the Ham's test.

• Immunophenotypic detection of the deficiency of the PIG transmem-636 brane protein anchors in PNH cells is becoming a more widely used alternative cf. PNH section p124. Monoclonal antibodies to CD59 or CD55 (DAF) are used in flow cytometric analysis. Major advantage is that test can be performed on neutrophils and platelets in PB which are more numerous than the PNH red cells.

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