High prevalence of alpha thalassemia in the tribal community of the western part of India! Reality or myth? Can simple hematology parameters; MCV and MCH act as screening tools at birth?

Authors

  • Hiren J. Dhanani Department of Pathology and Molecular Genetics, Sterling Accuris Diagnostics Laboratory, Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Ramesh Z. Patel Department of Immunohematology, Loksamarpan Raktdan Kendra, Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Jankita K. Vadodaria Department of Immunohematology, Loksamarpan Raktdan Kendra, Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Sanmukh R. Joshi Department of Immunohematology, Loksamarpan Raktdan Kendra, Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Utsav P. Vaghani Research Assistant, Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Nandini H. Dhanani Research Assistant, Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Palak D. Tandel Research Assistant, Surat, Gujarat, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20232083

Keywords:

Alpha thalassemia, Hb Bart’s, Cord blood, Hemoglobin electrophoresis, MCH, MCV

Abstract

Background: The majority of adult tribal subjects in the western part of India, show microcytic hypochromic red cells, and borderline anemia with a normal iron profile, suggesting a high prevalence of thalassemia in this population.

Methods: The current study was designed to perform qualitative (to screen for Hb Bart’s) and quantitative (to estimate percentage of Hb Bart’s) hemoglobin electrophoresis with modification of the method, to evaluate the prevalence of α thalassemia and to determine gene frequency of α+ thal gene. Furthermore, the present study also aimed to evaluate common hematology parameters like MCV and MCH as screening tools to suspect α thalassemia at birth.

Results: Based on hemoglobin electrophoresis, the prevalence of α thalassemia in all its forms was found to be 66.66%. The estimated gene frequency for α+ thal was found to be 0.7453 and based on that, the extrapolated prevalence of α thalassemia was 93.52% (55.55% homozygous and 37.97% heterozygous). MCV<100 fl and MCH<31 pg were found to be reliable screening tools to predict α thalassemia at birth in full-term uncomplicated pregnancy.

Conclusions: Tribal community in the western part of India bears a very high prevalence of α thalassemia, it’s a reality and not a myth. Simple hematological parameters like MCV (<100 fl) and MCH (<31 pg) measured at birth can prove to be cost-effective surrogate markers for α thalassemia. Large scale study using confirmatory genetic analysis is required to validate the findings.

 

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Published

2023-06-30

How to Cite

Dhanani, H. J., Patel, R. Z., Vadodaria, J. K., Joshi, S. R., Vaghani, U. P., Dhanani, N. H., & Tandel, P. D. (2023). High prevalence of alpha thalassemia in the tribal community of the western part of India! Reality or myth? Can simple hematology parameters; MCV and MCH act as screening tools at birth?. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 11(7), 2466–2471. https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20232083

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Original Research Articles