• The Hemocue is a method for point-of-care measurement of hemoglobin.
  • Method: Spectrophotometry[1]
  • Sample: Capillary, venous or arterial whole blood


The Hemocue device uses a method first described in 1960’s: modified azide-methemoglobin reaction.

  1. Sodium deoxycholate hemolyses erythrocytes and hemoglobin is released.
  2. Sodium nitrite converts hemoglobin to methemoglobin which, together with sodium azide, gives azidemethemoglobin
  3. The absorbance is measured at two wavelengths (570 nm and 880 nm) in order to compensate for turbidity in the sample.


  • Multiple studies have repeatedly demonstrated accuracy of HemoCue – generally agreement within 0.5g/dL of laboratory analyzer.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]
  • Somewhat compromised reliability in the emergency department or critically-ill patients, particularly with capillary sample.[11][12]

External Links

See Also


  1. Higgins C. Hemoglobin and its measurement. October 2016:1-10. http://acutecaretesting.org/~/media/acutecaretesting/files/pdf/hemoglobin-and-its-measurement.pdf.
  2. Nkrumah B, Nguah SB, Sarpong N, et al. Hemoglobin estimation by the HemoCue® portable hemoglobin photometer in a resource poor setting. BMC Clin Pathol. 2011;11(1):5. doi:10.1186/1472-6890-11-5.
  3. Gehring H, Hornberger C, Dibbelt L, et al. Accuracy of point-of-care-testing (POCT) for determining hemoglobin concentrations. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2002;46(8):980-986.
  4. Myers GJ, Browne J. Point of care hematocrit and hemoglobin in cardiac surgery: a review. Perfusion. 2007;22(3):179-183. doi:10.1177/0267659107080826.
  5. Raikhel M. Accuracy of Noninvasive and Invasive Point-of-Care Total Blood Hemoglobin Measurement in an Outpatient Setting. Postgrad Med. 2015;124(4):250-255. doi:10.3810/pgm.2012.07.2584.
  6. Kutter APN, Mauch JY, Riond B, et al. Evaluation of two devices for point-of-care testing of haemoglobin in neonatal pigs. Lab Anim. 2012;46(1):65-70. doi:10.1258/la.2011.011086.
  7. Shah N, Osea EA, Martinez GJ. Accuracy of noninvasive hemoglobin and invasive point-of-care hemoglobin testing compared with a laboratory analyzer. Int J Lab Hematol. 2014;36(1):56-61. doi:10.1111/ijlh.12118.
  8. Lamhaut L, Apriotesei R, Combes X, Lejay M, Carli P, Vivien B. Comparison of the accuracy of noninvasive hemoglobin monitoring by spectrophotometry (SpHb) and HemoCue® with automated laboratory hemoglobin measurement. Anesthesiology. 2011;115(3):548-554. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182270c22.
  9. Miller RD, Ward TA, Shiboski SC, Cohen NH. A comparison of three methods of hemoglobin monitoring in patients undergoing spine surgery. Anesth Analg. 2011;112(4):858-863. doi:10.1213/ANE.0b013e31820eecd1.
  10. Skelton VA, Wijayasinghe N, Sharafudeen S, Sange A, Parry NS, Junghans C. Evaluation of point-of-care haemoglobin measuring devices: a comparison of Radical-7™ pulse co-oximetry, HemoCue(®) and laboratory haemoglobin measurements in obstetric patients*. Anaesthesia. 2013;68(1):40-45. doi:10.1111/anae.12039.
  11. Zatloukal J, Pouska J, Kletecka J, Pradl R, Benes J. Comparison of the accuracy of hemoglobin point of care testing using HemoCue and GEM Premier 3000 with automated hematology analyzer in emergency room. Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing. 2015;30(6):949-956. doi:10.1007/s10877-015-9799-z.
  12. PhD PSM, MD AK, MD CC, BSc JM, MD YM. Determination of capillary hemoglobin levels using the HemoCue system in intensive care patients. Journal of Critical Care. 2011;26(4):423-427. doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2010.08.012.