The measurement of glycated haemoglobin has become centrally important in the monitoring of glycaemic control in the patient with diabetes. A number of analytical techniques have been described to measure this important haemoglobin fraction, and the fraction measured depends on the technique used; this has resulted in laboratories reporting different fractions i.e., HbA1c, Hba1c and total glycated haemoglobin. This paper outlines methods currently used in clinical laboratories for the measurement of this glycated fraction. It describes the principles behind these methods and goes on to describe the new IFCC reference method, which will be used in the future to standardise methods used in the clinical laboratory. Analytical goals and factors that interfere with methods are also discussed.
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