Evaluation of a portable hemoglobin photometer in pregnant women in a high altitude area: a pilot study

BMC Public Health. 2009 Jul 11:9:228. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-228.


Background: Anemia is a widespread public health problem associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, especially in pregnant women. This study examined the agreement between a portable hemoglobin photometer and a laboratory analyzer in determining hemoglobin level in pregnant women.

Methods: This study recruited 69 pregnant women in Tibet, China. Capillary blood samples were taken to measure hemoglobin concentration using the hemoglobin photometer and the laboratory analyzer. Limit of agreement, concordance and intraclass correlation coefficient were used to evaluate the agreement. Laboratory measurement was considered as the standard reference method. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated to assess the error in screening for anemia.

Results: Mean difference between the two methods was -2.1 g/l. wide 95% limits of agreement were found (-22.6 g/l to 18.4 g/l). The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.795, and concordance correlation coefficient was 0.793. Sensitivity and specificity were 94.9% and 76.7% respectively. Positive predictive value was 84.1%, and negative predictive value was 92.0%.

Conclusion: This hemoglobin photometer is not recommended for determining hemoglobin concentration in pregnancy in a high altitude area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Altitude*
  • Anemia / complications
  • Anemia / diagnosis
  • Calibration
  • China
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic / diagnosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrophotometry / instrumentation*


  • Hemoglobins