Thalassemia or else Mediterranean Anemia is an inherited blood disorder that accounts for a decreased amount of hemoglobin production or the production of abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin in found in red blood cells and is responsible for the distribution of oxygen in the blood.
A blood sample is required to perform all tests. It is a simple process with only a momentary slight pain from the needle stick.
Method of test used
- Hemoglobin electrophoresis
- Iron test
- Blood smear
- Complete blood count test
Hemoglobin A1: 96.5%–98.5% of total hemoglobin
Hemoglobin A2: 1.5%–3.5% of total hemoglobin
Hemoglobin F: 0%–1% of total hemoglobin
Abnormal hemoglobin types: none
Complete Blood Count:
Red Blood Cell Count (RBC)
Men: 4.5–5.5 million RBCs per microliter (mcL) or 4.5–5.5 x 1012/liter (L)
Women: 4.0–5.0 million RBCs per mcL or 4.0–5.0 x 1012/L
Children: 3.8–6.0 million RBCs per mcL or 3.8–6.0 x 1012/L
Men: 14–17.4 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or 140–174 grams per liter (g/L)
Women: 12–16 g/dL or 120–160 g/L
Children: 9.5–20.5 g/dL or 95–205 g/L
Red Blood Cell Indices
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV): 84-96 femtoliters (fL)/ low MCV is an indication for thalassemia if iron-deficiency is not a factor.
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH): 28-34 picograms (pg) per cell
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC): 32–36 grams per deciliter (g/dL)
Men: 70–175 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) or 12.5–31.3 micromoles per liter (mcmol/L)
Women: 50–150 mcg/dL or 8.9–26.8 mcmol/L
Children: 50-120 mcg/dL or 9.0–21.5 mcmol/L
Total Iron Binding Capacity: 250–450 mcg/dL or 45–76 mcmol/L
Red Blood cells may be low MCV (microcytic), hypochromic, nucleated, uneven hemoglobin distribution, and they may vary in shape (poikilocytosis) and size (anisocytosis).