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Application of diagnostic methods and molecular diagnosis of hemoglobin disorders in Khuzestan province of Iran

Keywords: α and β- thalassemia, hemoglobin variants, hemoglobinopathies , iron deficiency anemia , polymerase chain reaction , prenatal diagnosis

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Abstract:

Background : The hemoglobinopathies refer to a diverse group of inherited disorders characterized by a reduced synthesis of one or more globin chains (thalassemias) or the synthesis of structurally abnormal hemoglobin (Hb). The thalassemias often coexist with a variety of structural Hb variants giving rise to complex genotypes and an extremely wide spectrum of clinical and hematological phenotypes. Hematological and biochemical investigations and family studies provide essential clues to the different interactions and are fundamental to DNA diagnostics of the Hb disorders. Although DNA diagnostics have made a major impact on our understanding and detection of the hemoglobinopathies, DNA mutation testing should never be considered a shortcut or the test of first choice in the workup of a hemoglobinopathy. Materials and Methods: A careful three-tier approach involving: (1) Full blood count (2) Special hematological tests, followed by (3) DNA mutation analysis, provides the most effective way in which to detect primary gene mutations as well as gene-gene interactions that can influence the overall phenotype. With the exception of a few rare deletions and rearrangements, the molecular lesions causing hemoglobinopathies are all identifiable by PCR-based techniques. Furthermore, each at-risk ethnic group has its own combination of common Hb variants and thalassemia mutations. In Iran, there are many different forms of a and β thalassemia. Increasingly, different Hb variants are being detected and their effects per se or in combination with the thalassemias, provide additional diagnostic challenges. Results:We did step-by-step diagnosis workup in 800 patients with hemoglobinopathies who referred to Research center of Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathies in Shafa Hospital of Ahwaz Joundishapour University of medical sciences, respectively. We detected 173 patients as iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and 627 individuals as thalassemic patients by use of different indices. We have successfully detected 75% (472/627) of the β -thalassemia mutations by using amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) technique and 19% (130/627) of the β -thalassemia mutations by using Gap-PCR technique and 6% (25/627) as Hb variants by Hb electrophoresis technique. We did prenatal diagnosis (PND) for 176 couples which had background of thalassemia in first pregnancy. Result of PND diagnosis in the first trimester was 35% (62/176) affected fetus with β -thalassemia major and sickle cell disease that led to termination of the pregnancy. Conclusion:Almost all hemoglobinopathies can be

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