BACKGROUND The treatment of HFE-related hemochromatosis, one of the most common genetic diseases, is based on phlebotomies whose tolerance is evaluated by regular monitoring of hemoglobin. Using a portable hemoglobinometer (PH) could provide an easy and fast determination of hemoglobin. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare, in hemochromatosis patients treated by bloodletting, the hemoglobin concentrations as assayed, on capillary blood, by a PH device and, on venous blood, by a cell counter (CC) device. METHODS For a total period of 12 weeks duration, all patients undergoing phlebotomies in the same hospital outpatient unit had hemoglobin determinations both by the HemoCue and by the laboratory's DxH 800 Coulter. To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the HemoCue, patients were classified as presenting or not anemia as defined by hemoglobin level below 11 g/dl. RESULTS Measurements of hemoglobin were performed in 122 patients. The sensitivity and specificity of PH compared to CC were 100 and 98.1%, respectively. Capillary hemoglobin by PH slightly underestimated venous hemoglobin by CC. The Pearson's correlation coefficient between PH and CC was 0.80 (P<0.0001). CONCLUSION PH is a reliable, quick and easy technology, which can be proposed to follow-up the tolerance of venesections in hemochromatosis patients.