Prenatal Diagnosis of the Hemoglobinopathies

  • J. M. Old


The hemoglobinopathies are a diverse group of inherited recessive disorders consisting of the structural hemoglobin variants and the thalassemias. Together they form the commonest single-gene disorder in the world population and they are a serious public health problem in many countries. Although there is no definitive cure for the hemoglobinopathies, the methods of clinical management have improved considerably over the last few years and the life expectancy of affected individuals has been significantly increased. However, the treatment required is very expensive and is not a realistic means of controlling the disorders for many developing countries. Therefore several countries, especially those with a high incidence of β-thalassemia, are applying an alternative method of control, which involves screening the population for carriers, identifying the couples at risk, and providing a prenatal diagnosis service.


Prenatal Diagnosis Globin Gene Chorionic Villus Restriction Enzyme Analysis Fetal Blood 
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Copyright information

© Aubrey Milunsky 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Old
    • 1
  1. 1.National Haemoglobinopathy Reference Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical MedicineJohn Radcliffe HospitalOxfordEngland

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