G6PD is an enzyme found within the red blood cells. Its role in the body is to protect red blood cells from oxidation. If G6PD is deficient, it means that the red blood cells are more prone to oxidative damage.
The main reasons practitioners may order G6PD testing is to establish if the patient has an inherited G6PD deficiency. G6PD deficiency is one of the most common enzyme deficiency in the world. G6PD deficiency may have a genetic basis.
Certain medications may not be appropriate for an individual with G6PD deficiency (including aspirin, sulphonamides, quinone, Dapsone etc). The risk is that the medications may cause oxidative stress that leads to a haemolytic crisis.
The test is appropriate for patients that are suspected to have a G6PD deficiency. Due to the genetic basis, it may be appropriate to test family members as well.
- Enlarged Spleen
- Fast breathing/shortness of breath
- Fast heartbeat