ALPHA THALASSEMIA TRAIT

 ABOUT ALPHA THALASSEMIA TRAIT

 THROUGH GEORGIA’S NEWBORN SCREENING PROGRAM, ALPHA THALASSEMIA TRAIT OR BARTS CAN BE DETECTED AT BIRTH.

INDIVIDUALS WITH ALPHA THALASSEMIA TRAIT WILL HAVE A VERY MILD ANEMIA WITH MYCROCYTOSIS (SMALL RED BLOOD CELLS).

  • THIS CAUSES NO CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS.

PERSONS WITH ALPHA THALASSEMIA TRAIT ARE FREQUENTLY CONFUSED WITH IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA.

  • LONG TERM TREATMENT WITH SUPPLEMENTAL IRON FOR ALPHA THALASSEMIA:
    • WILL NOT CORRECT THE ANEMIA AND
    • TOO MUCH IRON CAN BE HARMFUL.

IRON STUDIES SHOULD BE PERFORMED ON PERSONS WITH ALPHA THALASSEMIA TO DETERMINE IF THERE IS AN IRON DEFICIENCY.

  • STUDIES MAY INCLUDE SERUM IRON, TOTAL IRON BINDING CAPACITY, AND SERUM FERRITIN.
  • BABY FORMULAS, WITH IRON, CAUSE NO PROBLEMS.