ABSTRACT: Globin chain imbalance and tissue hypoxia are important determinants of the clinical severity of thalassemias. Phenotypic expression may be further modified by interactions between alpha- and beta-thalassemia defects. We retrospectively and prospectively studied the clinical and hematologic features in children and adults with hemoglobin (Hb) E trait/Hb H disease (SEA/Paksé) (seven cases) and Hb E trait/Hb H disease (SEA/Constant Spring) (29 cases) and found that they had similar presentations. The severity of these two intermediate thalassemic manifestations ranged from very mild to severe. Severe anemia developed in accordance with very high fever, whereupon the range of Hb and hematocrit (Hct) levels declined to 5.2-5.8 g/dL and 13%-19%, respectively. In one case, during a hemoconcentrated state as occurs in dengue hemorrhagic fever, the Hb and Hct were 10 g/dL and 31%; the latter rose to 35% after fluid therapy. In some patients, the range of Hb and Hct levels was constantly low (4.3-5.8 g/dL and 15%-19%, respectively). (If dengue hemorrhagic fever is misdiagnosed, a fatal outcome may occur for thalassemic patients.) After a hemodiluted condition as in acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, the respective Hb and Hct were 5.4 g/dL and 19%. These observations suggest that the instability of Hb E, especially during fever, may play an important role in the clinical manifestations of Hb E trait/Hb H disease with Hb Paksé and with Hb Constant Spring.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 05/2006; 28(4):249-53. · 1.16 Impact Factor