The β-thalassemia is a hereditary blood disorders, characterized by reduced or absent synthesis of the hemoglobin beta chain that cause microcytic hypochromic anemia. An early diagnosis, economical test, awareness programs and prenatal screening will be a milestone for the eradication of this genetic disorder and to reduce burden of the health sector of a country subsequently the economics. Initially, the diagnosis of β-thalassemia depends on the hematological tests with red cell indices that disclosed the microcytic hypochromic anemia. Hemoglobin analysis shows the abnormal peripheral blood smear with nucleated red blood cells, and reduced amounts of hemoglobin A (HbA). In severe anemia, the hemoglobin analysis by HPLC reveals decreased quantities of HbA and increased the level of hemoglobin F (HbF). The decrease level of MCV and MCH are also associated with β-thalassemia. There are various different molecular techniques such as ARMS PCR, allele-specific PCR, Gap PCR, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, reverse dot blotting, DGGE, SSCP, HRM, MLPA, sequencing technology and microarray available to identify the globin chain gene mutations. These molecular techniques can be clustered for detection by mutation types and alteration in gene sequences.
Part of the book: Blood