Co-inheritance of alpha-thalassemia with homozygosity or compound heterozygosity for beta-thalassemia may ameliorate beta-thalassemia major. A wide range of clinical phenotypes is produced depending on the number of alpha-thalassemia alleles (-alpha/alphaalpha --/alphaalpha, --/-alpha). The co-inheritance of beta-thalassemia with alpha-thalassemia with a single gene deletion (-alpha/alphaalpha) is usually associated with thalassemia major. In contrast, the co-inheritance of beta-thalassemia with two alpha-genes deleted in cis or trans (--/alphaalpha or -alpha/-alpha) generally produces beta-thalassemia intermedia. In Southeast Asia, the most common defect responsible for alpha-thalassemia is the Southeast Asian (SEA) deletion of 20.5 kilobases. The presence of the SEA deletion with Hb Constant Spring (HbCS) produces HbH-CS disease. Co-inheritance of HbH-CS with compound heterozygosity for beta-thalassemia is very rare. This study presents a Malay patient with HbH-CS disorder and beta degrees/beta+-thalassemia. The SEA deletion was confirmed in the patient using a duplex-PCR. A Combine-Amplification Refractory Mutation System (C-ARMS) technique to simultaneously detect HbCS and Hb Quong Sze confirmed HbCS in the patient. Compound heterozygosity for CD41/42 and Poly A was confirmed using the ARMS. This is a unique case as the SEA alpha-gene deletion in cis (--SEA/alphaalpha) is generally not present in the Malays, who more commonly possess the two alpha-gene deletion in trans (-alpha/-alpha). In addition, the beta-globin gene mutation at CD41/42 is a common mutation in the Chinese and not in the Malays. The presence of both the SEA deletion and CD41/42 in the mother of the patient suggests the possible introduction of these two defects into the family by marriage with a Chinese.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.