Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase
(G-6-PD)

Alternate Names

  • G-6-PD Screen

G-6-PD is an enzyme necessary for the use of glucose in RBCs (red blood cells). An inherited deficiency of this enzyme on the surface of RBCs will cause the abnormal formation of Heinz bodies on the surface of the cell. Heinz bodies cause RBC destruction, which leads to anemia(hemolytic anemia). Women may either be carriers of the defective gene with no symptoms of the disease, or have the disease with varying levels of anemia. If the defective gene is passed along to a male child, that child will develop a severe form of hemolytic anemia. There are specific medications, as well as fava beans in the diet, that must be avoided since they will trigger a hemolytic reaction.

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