Thalassaemia intermedia in Cyprus: the interaction of alpha and beta thalassaemia.
Wainscoat JS., Kanavakis E., Wood WG., Letsky EA., Huehns ER., Marsh GW., Higgs DR., Clegg JB., Weatherall DJ.
Restriction endonuclease analysis has been performed on the alpha and beta globin gene clusters of 57 Cypriots homozygous for beta thalassaemia, 30 with the transfusion dependent form of the condition (thalassaemia major) and 27 who are less severely affected (thalassaemia intermedia). There was a significant difference in the incidence of alpha thalassaemia between the two groups: 14/27 of the patients with thalassaemia intermedia also had deletion forms of alpha thalassaemia, while only 4/30 of the patients with thalassaemia major were similarly affected. Thus in Cypriot patients who are homozygous for beta thalassaemia the co-inheritance of alpha thalassaemia is an important factor in determining the clinical course.