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Bonn scientists discover new hemoglobin type
Date:3/17/2008

This release is available in German.

Scientists at the University of Bonn have discovered a new rare type of haemo-globin. Haemoglobin transports oxygen in the red blood corpuscles. When bound to oxygen it changes colour. The new haemoglobin type appears optically to be transporting little oxygen. Measurements of the blood oxygen level therefore present a similar picture to patients suffering from an inherited cardiac defect. After examining two patients, the scientists now understand that the new type of haemoglobin distorts the level of oxygen measured. The scientists have named the type 'Haemoglobin Bonn'. They have published their discovery in the current issue of the scientific journal 'Clinical Chemistry'. The article can be downloaded from http://www.clinchem.org/cgi/content/full/54/3/594.

Haemoglobin transports oxygen to the body's cells and in return picks up carbon dioxide there. In doing so it changes colour. With an optical measuring instrument, known as a pulse oximeter, you can therefore measure whether there is enough oxygen present in the blood. The cause of anoxia can be an inherited cardiac defect, for example.

This was also the tentative diagnosis in the case of a four-year-old boy who was admitted to the Paediatric Clinic of the Bonn University Clinic. However, after a thorough examin-ation, the paediatricians Dr. Andreas Hornung and his colleagues did not find any cardiac defect. A low saturation of oxygen had also been previously found in the blood of the boy's 41-year-old father, again without apparent signs of a cardiac defect.

Dr. Berndt Zur from Professor Birgit Stoffel-Wagners team at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology examined the boy's and the father's haemoglobin. He eventually realised that they were dealing with a new ty
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Contact: Dr. Berndt Zur
berndt.zur@ukb.uni-bonn.de
49-022-828-7121
University of Bonn
Source:Eurekalert

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