Alpha-thalassemia is the most common single gene disorder in Taiwan and Southeast China. The majority of alpha-thalassemic mutations in this area are alpha-thalassemia 1. Homozygous alpha-thalassemia 1 has been recognized as the most important cause of hydrops fetalis. To investigate the incidence of alpha-thalassemia 1 mutations and to characterize its molecular defects, cord blood electrophoresis was performed on 2,000 newborns, of which 99 (5%) cases were found to have hemoglobin (Hb) Bart's levels > 3.0%. A methodology using biphasic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with nesting primers was developed to characterize the alpha-thalassemia 1 Southeast Asia type (SEA) deletion in the cases with detectable Hb Bart's levels. The SEA deletion was found in 92 (93%) of 99 cases. Prenatal screening was performed on couples with abnormal hematologic indices, and PCR was used to detect couples heterozygous for SEA deletion. Prenatal diagnosis was performed in 21 cases, and four cases were found to have a homozygous SEA deletion. This strategy can be applied to couples who need prenatal genetic counseling for alpha-thalassemia major in this area.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi|
|Publication status||Published - 1994 Sep|
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