The accurate measurement of HbA2 is essential for the detection of β-thalassaemia carriers and as no single calibrant is used by the various manufacturers of analysers, differences are seen in results obtained.

The World Health Organization International Reference Reagent for HbA2 (WHO IRR 89/666) was made available to diagnostic laboratories in the 1980s and remains the only international reference material available. A previous study (2015) demonstrated that the WHO IRR remained suitable for use as an HbA2 standard as tested by 52 participants in the UK NEQAS Haematology Abnormal Haemoglobins Programme. This study was undertaken to include simultaneous analysis of three whole blood specimens over a range of HbA2 values with the WHO IRR and to include participants from laboratories outside of the UK.

The aim of study was to evaluate If the WHO IRR for Hb A2 is still suitable for use, rather than the performance of different technologies. However, the obtained results demonstrate the excellent performances of the Sebia Capillary instruments for HbA2 quantification.