Sickle Cell trait (AS) is an inherited condition in which both hemoglobin A and S are produced in the red blood cells. Sickle cell trait is not a type of sickle cell disease. People with sickle cell trait are generally healthy and often do not know that they have it.

How will I know if I have Sickle Cell Disease or Trait?

A simple blood test, followed by a laboratory technique called Hemoglobin Electrophoresis, will determine the type of hemoglobin you have. When you pass an electric charge through a solution of hemoglobin, distinct hemoglobins move different distances, depending on their composition. This technique differentiates between normal hemoglobin (A), Sickle hemoglobin (S), and other different kinds of hemoglobin (such as C, D, E, etc.). It is important that the testing also includes a complete blood count with assessment of the mean corpuscular volume (MCV).