BACKGROUND: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an X-linked disorder that may manifest as neonatal jaundice or acute hemolytic anemia. Quantitative assessment of G6PD activity in erythrocytes is required to definitively diagnose a deficiency. Most males and homozygous females have low enzyme activities, whereas heterozygous females may have a range of activities. We sought to examine G6PD genotype-phenotype associations to identify an activity cutoff above which G6PD deficiency is unlikely. METHODS: Ninety-five residual samples were randomly selected to represent the various regions of a G6PD activity distribution. DNA was isolated from the leukocyte fraction and sequenced using the Sanger method. ROC curves were used to establish cutoffs. RESULTS: Thirteen variant alleles were identified, including 1 not previously reported. In the very deficient activity range, we found males and homozygous females of both class II and III variants. In the deficient category, we found predominantly class III males and heterozygous females. The presumed deficient category contained class III and IV variants and nonvariants. An activity cutoff of <7.85 U/g hemoglobin (Hb) was 100% sensitive and 94% specific for identifying a G6PD-deficient male, and a cutoff of <8.95 U/g Hb was 90% sensitive and 82% specific for a deficient female. CONCLUSIONS: The observed activity groupings were not because of a particular variant class. Cutoffs to identify the presence of a deficiency variant for males and females may be useful when trying to decide whether to recommend genetic analysis.