oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Homozygous â?? + thalassaemia in Zimbabwe: an unrecognized cause of hypochromia and microcytosis

Volume 35, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



The prevalence of probable homozygous α + thalassaemia in Zimbabwe was found to be 3.25 percent in a survey of hospital patients (n=2000), 7.6 percent in a Batonga village (n=66), and 5.3 percent in 16 kindreds (n =94) investigated for iron overload. The diagnosis was based on finding a reduced mean cell volume (MCV), reduced mean cell haemoglobin (MCH), increased red cell count (RBC), and a normal Haemoglobin. These cases usually had a normal red cell distribution width (ROW), and of three discriminant functions tested the MCV sq x MCH was the most useful. Iron deficiency was excluded in the community based surveys. The importance of recognizing these changes is emphasized so that inappropriate iron therapy is not given.

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