Beta thalassaemia traits in Nigerian patients with sickle cell anaemia
Haematological values were determined in 246 sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients in three centres in Benin City, Nigeria, as well as 84 control subjects with haemoglobin A (HbAA) confirmed by haemoglobin electrophoresis at pH 8.6. Automated Coulter counter was used to determine the complete blood counts while the foetal haemoglobin was estimated by the modified Betke method, and haemoglobin A2 by the HbS-free microcolumn chromatography. Six patients (2.4%), comprising of two males and four females, out of the 246 SCA patients were found to have elevated haemoglobin A2 (>3.5%). All the six patients also had elevated haemoglobin F (≥1.5%). The family members of three of these six patients were successfully screened. These three patients (1.2%) were found to have positive co-inheritance of thalassaemia trait and sickle cell anaemia. The erythrocyte indices were all reduced in these selected families except for one family whose mean cell haemoglobin concentration was within normal range. Peripheral blood film revealed the presence of target cells and occasional microcytes apart from the sickled cells. The possibility of co-inheritance of the beta thalassaemia gene with the sickle cell gene occurs in about 1.2% of Nigerians with sickle cell anaemia.
Keywords: Co-inheritance, anaemia, beta thalassea- mia
Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research Vol. 4 (1) 2005: pp. 37-43