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Possibility of alpha thalassemia affecting fetus - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Blood Disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   Hello, Me and my husband did a Pre test marriage exams. They found in my husband blood that he hold Alpha Thalassemia 80% and for me everything was normal.
My question is this can cause a affect to any babies?
User :   hello
Doctor :   hi
User :   hello
Doctor :   Dr. XXXXXXXX here.
User :   hello
User :   Hello, Me and my husband did a Pre test marriage exams. They found in my husband blood that he hold Alpha Thalassemia 80% and for me everything was normal. My question is this can cause a affect to any babies?
Doctor :   let me read what you have typed
Doctor :   does your husband have any symptoms suggesting active diesae?
Doctor :   or is he a silent carrier?
User :   active disease
Doctor :   ok, then there are chances of babies having the gene in them, and based on the amount of the missing genes, they will have symptoms
Doctor :   i will explain this further to help you understand
User :   yes please explain
Doctor :   there are four genes (two from each parent) that are needed to make enough alpha globin protein chains
Doctor :   If one or more of the genes is missing, then you will have alpha thalassemia trait or disease. This will mean that you will not make enough alpha globin protein.
User :   what kind the side affect be for the babies?
Doctor :   if there is only one missing gene, you're a silent carrier and won't have any signs of illness.
User :   well he is 80%
Doctor :   if two missing genes, you have alpha thalassemia trait (also called alpha thalassemia minor). You may have mild anemia.
Doctor :   If you have three missing genes, then you will have hemoglobin H disease (which a blood test can detect). This is a form of thalassemia that causes moderate to severe anemia.
User :   oh
Doctor :   Very rarely, a baby can have all four genes missing. This condition is then called alpha thalassemia major or hydrops fetalis. these babies with hydrops fetalis usually die before or shortly after birth.
Doctor :   now the current status of your partner has to be determined
Doctor :   to know if he is having a trait or disease
User :   i see
Doctor :   if he is a carrier of trait, that is two genes missing and you are normal, the child can have 3 possibilities
Doctor :   1) be a trait like father (2 genes missing), 2) be a silent carrier (1 gene missing), 3) Normal.
Doctor :   this can be clearly discussed with a genetic counsellor
Doctor :   after getting karyotyping done for both of you
Doctor :   which will specify the status of both you, and give you the probable chances of baby having the problem
Doctor :   and the chances of the gene getting passed on further in your family
Doctor :   have you followed what I have said uptil now?
User :   yes
Doctor :   is there anything else you would like to ask me? please get back to me if you have further queries
User :   Thank you
Doctor :   thanks for consulting me. bye for now.
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