How is sickle cell disease diagnosed?

Sickle cell disease is diagnosed by examining a sample of blood. The test used is hemoglobin electrophoresis, which determines the type of hemoglobin one has, and if he or she is a carrier or has the disease. When the abnormal sickle-shaped cells in the blood are identified, a diagnosis is made.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/24/2016.


  • National Library of Medicine. Genetics Home Reference. Sickle Cell Disease. Accessed 11/10/2016.
  • National Marrow Donor Program. Sickle Cell Disease Accessed 11/10/2016
  • Williams-Johnson J, Williams E. Sickle Cell Disease and Hereditary Hemolytic Anemias. In: Tintinalli JE, Stapczynski J, Ma O, Yealy DM, Meckler GD, Cline DM. eds. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2016. Accessed 11/10/ 2016.

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