International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-019-02694-y Pages: 474-481

Molecular characteristics of thalassemia and hemoglobin variants in prenatal diagnosis program in northern Thailand

1. Chiang Mai University, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine

2. University of Phayao, Thalassemia Research Unit, Institute of Human Genetics

Correspondence to:
Pimlak Charoenkwan
Tel: +66 53 935412



Molecular analysis of globin genes is an essential process for prenatal diagnosis (PND) of severe thalassemia. This study aimed to describe the molecular characteristics of thalassemia and hemoglobin (Hb) variants in PND program in northern Thailand. The type and frequency of globin gene mutations from 1290 couples at risk of fetal severe thalassemia diseases that were tested at Thalassemia Laboratory at Chiang Mai University from 2012 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. The PND program detected 444 (34.4%), 196 (15.2%) and 642 (49.8%) couples at risk of fetal Hb Bart’s hydrops fetalis, beta-thalassemia major (BTM) and beta-thalassemia/Hb E disease, respectively. Coinheritance of more than one type of thalassemia was common and eight (0.6%) couples were at risk of two types of severe thalassemia. There were two types of alpha0-thalassemia; 893 (99.7%) Southeast Asian and 3 (0.3%) Thai deletions. Twenty beta-globin gene mutations were found with 94.3% of beta0-thalassemia. The codon 41/42 (− TTCT), codon 17 (A>T), IVS-I-1 (G>T) and codon 71/72 (+ A) comprised 90% of beta-thalassemia mutations. The study shows a high percentage of couples at risk of fetal Hb Bart’s hydrops fetalis and BTM. The percentage of beta0-thalassemia is higher than those seen in other regions of Thailand.

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