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Title: Screening for the carriers of thalassemias and abnormal hemoglobins at the community level
Authors: P. Winichagoon
A. Thitivichianlert
T. Lebnak
A. Piankijagum
S. Fucharoen
The Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, Mahidol University
Faculty of Medical Technology
Mahidol University
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2002
Citation: Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. Vol.33, No.SUPPL.2 (2002), 145-150
Abstract: Thalassemia and abnormal hemoglobins are common genetic disorders in Southeast Asia. Thalassemia is not only an important public health problem but also a socio-economic problem of many countries in the region. The approach to deal with the thalassemic problem is to prevent and control births of the new cases. This requires an accurate identification of couple at high risk to have a thalassemic child. The diagnosis of thalassemia carriers need several tests that are not practical for screening the population at large. In this study we used two simple laboratory tests to screen for potential thalassemia carriers and hemoglobin E individuals Three-hundred pregnant women and 40 spouses were recruited in this study. The methods were the red cell osmotic fragility (OF) screening test with 0.36% NaCl and the dichlorophenolindophenol (DCIP) precipitation test to detect Hb E and unstable hemoglobins. Standard methods for red cell indices, hemoglobin analysis and detection of α-thalassemia by immunological method were also performed to confirm genotypes of thalassemia. The results showed that 98 women (32.7%) were carriers of thalassemias and hemoglobin E. The number of false positive by OF test was 3 2% and by DCTP test was 0.6%. Sensitivity and specificity of OF test were 89.5% and 93.3%. respectively whereas those of DCIP test were 100%. Of the 40 couples investigated, one was found to be at risk of having β-thalassemia/IIb E fetus. Screening techniques including one tube osmotic fragility and DCIP precipitation tests are sensitive and specific for the detection of thalassemia and unstable hemoglobins such as Hb E. The techniques are also simple, economic, rapid, and give minimal false negative result.
ISSN: 01251562
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2001-2005

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