Ham's Test for PNH

This test is used to detect certain red blood cell disorders including hemolytic anemia. Hemolytic anemia is a breaking down of red blood cells. This causes a low red blood cell count. Paroxysmal means that it occurs suddenly and at varying times. Nocturnal means that it occurs at night. Hemoglobinuria means the breakdown products of blood are put out into the urine. When this happens, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets can be very low. The patient may develop an aplastic anemia, which means the body cannot put out enough red blood cells to keep up with blood cell destruction taking place. This leads to a lowered red cell count or anemia.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation or fasting is necessary.

NORMAL FINDINGS

Negative

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

Not all test results are available during your visit. If your test results are not back during the visit, make an appointment with your caregiver to find out the results. Do not assume everything is normal if you have not heard from your caregiver or the medical facility. It is important for you to follow up on all of your test results.