International Journal of Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Research 2010. 4(1):23-27.

Prevalence of Minor β-thalassemia Based on RBC Indices among Final Suspected Individuals in Premarital Screening Program Referred to Genetic Laboratories
Alireza Moafi, Sadeg Valian, Zahra Nikyar, Mehrdad Zeinalian, Maryam Momenzadeh, Soheila Rahgozar


Introduction:The current study evaluated the value of red blood cell (RBC) indices and the corresponding cut- off points for β-thalassemia control programs in Iran.
Materials and Methods:1,150 individuals (575 couples) with low RBC indices and normal hemoglobin A2 who had been referred to the Genetic Centre of Isfahan, were tested during pre-marital screening analyses, in the 2 year period, 2006-2008. β-thalassemia mutations were evaluated.
Results: β-thalassemia was identified in 67.8% of the cases with both mean corpuscular volume (MCV) less than 78fl and mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) less than 26 pg. However, 4.1% of the individuals with  78≤ MCV≤ 80 tested positive for thalassemia. MCV showed a higher diagnostic reliability than MCH. However, the accompaniment of MCH<26 with MCV<78 increased the risk of thalassemia 35 times. A significant association was found between the prevalence of minor β-thalassemia and educational levels, race and familial relationships.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, it seems that MCV=80fl can be used as a proper cut- off point for the screening of minor β-thalassemia. Although in the present study MCV was found to have a higher diagnostic reliability than MCH, MCH <26 along with MCV are very helpful indices for the counselor physician to estimate the risk of minor β-thalassemia more accurately.


Minor β-Thalassemia; Screening; MCH; MCV; Thalassemia Preventing Program

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