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Summary: We have studied the hematology and hemoglobin patterns of normal and heterozygous [beta] thalassemia infants in serial samples obtained during the first year of life. The hemoglobin level, mean cell volume and mean cell hemoglobin were significantly lower in the [beta] thalassemia traits by the age of 3 months and this difference was maintained throughout the first year. Hb A2 levels were significantly higher in the [beta] thalassemia group but increased in both groups throughout the first year. Hb F levels were also higher in heterozygotes for [beta] thalassemia at all ages, showing a delay in the postnatal decline.

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