IN 1955 A Filipino couple had a premature fetus with clinical and pathological features of hydrops fetalis, but no iso-immune basis for the disease could be documented. The 1962 report of Lie-Injo and her associates in Indonesia describing homozygous α-thalassemia as a cause of nonimmunological hydrops fetalis1 prompted reinvestigation of this family. Both parents and two living siblings were found to have laboratory features of heterozygous α-thalassemia. Although detailed studies of the hydropic infant's hemoglobin were not performed, we consider it likely that she represented another instance of homozygous α-thalassemia. The α-thalassemia gene reaches a high frequency in persons of southern Asiatic origin and also perhaps in the American Negro. Therefore, in some racial groups, this recently described disorder of hemoglobin synthesis may be a significant cause of fetal wastage.
Materials and Methods
Standard hematological methods were employed for hemoglobin and hematocrit determinations. The Coulter counter was used to
PEARSON HA, SHANKLIN DR, BRODINE CR, BETHESDA. Alpha-Thalassemia as Cause of Nonimmunological Hydrops. Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(2):168–172. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020170016
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