An improved quantitative assay of glycogen in erythrocytes

Ann Clin Biochem. 2002 Nov;39(Pt 6):612-3. doi: 10.1177/000456320203900613.


Background: Current methods for the quantitative determination of glycogen in erythrocytes are unsatisfactory.

Methods: Erythrocytes were deproteinized with perchloric acid either after haemolysing by freezing and thawing twice or without freezing and thawing, and the glycogen content was determined by an enzymatic method.

Results: Freezing and thawing resulted in a significantly higher glycogen content, and the recovery of added glycogen using this method was nearly 100%. The mean erythrocyte glycogen content in healthy volunteers (n = 17) was 69.5 microg/g haemoglobin, a value much higher than the previously reported values in healthy subjects.

Conclusion: Freezing and thawing improves the assay of erythrocyte glycogen.

MeSH terms

  • Erythrocytes / chemistry*
  • Freezing
  • Glycogen / analysis*
  • Hematologic Tests / methods*
  • Hemolysis*
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Glycogen