The term thalassemia does not describe a single entity but rather a broad group of hereditary microcytic anemias with a characteristic abnormal erythrocyte morphology. The majority of these cases may be classified clinically into two groups: (1) thalassemia minor, a mild hypochromic microcytic anemia which is usually asymptomatic and is believed to be due to the heterozygous occurrence of a thalassemia gene; (2) thalassemia major, a severe progressive hemolytic anemia with marked abnormalities of the red cells, which is generally believed to be due to the homozygous occurrence of a thalassemia gene.
However, there are cases which are not readily assigned to either of these categories. In addition to marked erythrocyte morphologic changes, these are characterized by a hemolytic anemia which is intermediate in severity and by splenomegaly, in most cases. Singer et al.1 called this group thalassemia intermedia. Its etiology is varied. The development of hemoglobin electrophoretic techniques
PEARSON HA, GERALD PS, DIAMOND LK. Thalassemia Intermedia Due to Interaction of Lepore Trait with Thalassemia Trait: Report of Three Cases. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(4):464–472. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010466011
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