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Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana

versão impressa ISSN 0325-2957versão On-line ISSN 1851-6114


CHIAPPE, Gustavo. Thalassemias: Clinical aspects. Acta bioquím. clín. latinoam. [online]. 2017, vol.51, n.3, pp.281-289. ISSN 0325-2957.

Thalassemic syndromes, together with thalassemic hemoglobinopathies, structural hemoglobinopathies and over-expression syndromes represent the different clinical presentations of hemoglobinopathies, which are the mutational or deletional defects of globin genes. Genetic defects responsible for thalassemic syndromes determine a reduced or a lack of synthesis of the related chain. According to the defective synthesized chain, thalassemias are classified into a-thalassemias, b-thalassemias, etc. Depending on the different combinations of two or more phenotypes, a-thalassemias are classified into silent, carrier, Hb H disease and fetal hydrops, while b-thalassemias are classified into minor, intermediate and major b-thalassemia. Diagnostic suspicion of mild thalassemic syndromes and thalassemic hemoglobinopathies is easy based on a mild anemia with pronounced microcytosis and hypochromia, unquestionable absence of iron deficiency and positive family background. Hemoglobin electrophoresis with A2 hemoglobin level higher than 3.5% almost confirms a b-thalassemia minor, while a low or normal A2 hemoglobin level makes mild a-thalassemia suspicious and diagnosis must be confirmed by DNA study. Once the thalassemic condition of the propositus is confirmed, it is essential to identify which consanguineous relatives are or are not carriers of the same thalassemic gene, and then to study the couples of all already identified thalassemic relatives, in order to forecast, through genetic counselling, the birth of homozygous or double heterozygous children with more severe thalassemic or hemoglobinopathic conditions.

Palavras-chave : Anemia; Thalassemia; Hemoglobinopathy; Hemoglobin electrophoresis.

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