Significance of Red Cell Count for the Detection of Thalassemia Minor

Author's: Maliha Hamid, Benish Nawaz, Naheed Afshan
Authors' Affiliations
Department of Microbiology, Jinnah University for Women, Karachi 74600, Pakistan.
*Corresponding author: Naheed Afshan;Email:
Article Type: Research Article     Published: May. 05, 2016 Pages: 22-25
DOI:        Views 2622       Downloads 34


Thalassemia minor is known to be a hereditary disease involving affected globin chains. In Thalassemia minor, the fetus inherits haemoglobin genes during fertilization, each from the mother and the father, respectively. Individuals with a defect in one gene are known as carriers of Thalassemia minor. There are different procedures available for the detection of Thalassemia minor but most of them are expensive, so a study was designed at Microbiology department of Jinnah University for Women to check the total RBC count of known Thalassemia minor patients. In this study, one hundred (100) blood samples of known Thalassemia minor individuals were collected. The results showed increased levels of red cell count in Thalassemia minor patients as compared to the controls (normal persons) which were correlated with naked-eye single tube Red cell osmotic fragility test (NESTROFT). The results were further confirmed by the evaluation of red cell indices by complete blood count test. Thalassemia minor patients have hypochromic microcytic red blood cells with increased red blood cell number and they may have mild anemia but are usually asymptomatic. The main purpose of this study is to give awareness to our community about Thalassemia minor and its cheap diagnosis which can differentiate it from other types of anemia.


Thalassemia, heterozygous, microcytosis, anemia.

To cite this article:

Hamid, M., Nawaz, B., Afshan, N., 2016. Significance of Red Cell Count for the Detection of Thalassemia Minor. PSM Biol. Res., 01(1): 22-25.


Ali, H.M., Bhatti, S., Iqbal, M.N., Ali, S., Ahmad, A., Irfan, M., Muhammad, A., 2015. Mutational analysis of MDM2 gene in hepatocellular carcinoma. Sci. Lett., 3(1):33-36.

Clarke, G.M., Higgins, T.N., 2000. “Laboratory investigation of hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias: review and update.” Clin. Chem., 46(8): 1284-1290.

Burdick, C.O., Ntaios, G., Rathod.D., 2009. Separating thalassemia trait and iron deficiency by simple inspection. Am. J. Clin. Pathol., 131(3): 444-445.

El-Beshlwy, A., Kaddah, N., Moustafa, A., Moukhtar, G., Youssry, I., 2007. Screening for β-thalasaemia carriers in Egypt: significance of the osmotic fragility test. East Mediterr. Health J., 13(4): 780-786.

Determann, H., 1968. Gel Chromatography: Gel Filtration• Gel Permeation• Molecular Sieves A Laboratory Handbook, Springer. pp.195.

Galanello, R., Origa, R., 2010. Review: Beta-thalassemia. Orphanet. J. Rare. Dis., 5(11): 1-15. doi:10.1186/1750-1172-5-11

Gomber, S., Madan, N., 1997. Validity of nestroft in screening and diagnosis of β-thalassemia trait. J. Trop. Pediatr., 43(6): 363-366.

Gubbuk, I.H., Ozmen, M., Maltas, E., 2012. Immobilization and Characterization of Hemoglobin on Modified Sporopollenin Surfaces” Int. J. Biol. Mac., 50 (5): 1346-1352.

Hussain, Z., Malik, N., Chughtai, A.S., 2005. Diagnostic significance of red cell indices in Beta-thalassemia trait. Biomedica, 2: 129-131.

Jacoby, D.B., Youngson, R., 2005. Encyclopedia of family health, Marshall Cavendish.

Khosa, S.M., Usman, M., Moinuddin, M., Mehmood, H.O., Qamar, K., 2015. Comparative analysis of cellulose acetate hemoglobin electrophoresis and high performance liquid chromatography for quantitative determination of hemoglobin A2. Blood Res., 50(1): 46-50.

Kunkel, H.G.R., Ceppellini, R., Muller-Eberhard, U., 1957. “Observations on the minor basic hemoglobin component in the blood of normal individuals and patients with thalassemia.” J. Clin. Invest., 36(11): 1615-25. DOI: 10.1172/JCI10356.

Mosca, A., Paleari, R., Ivaldi, G., 2009. The role of haemoglobin A2 testing in the diagnosis of thalassaemias and related haemoglobinopathies. J. Clin Pathol., 62(1): 13-17. doi: 10.1136/jcp.2008.056945.

Muhammad, A., Farooq, M.U., Iqbal, M.N., Ali, S.,Ahmad, A. Irfan, M., 2013. Prevalence of diabetes mellitus type II in patients with hepatitis C and associated with other risk factors. Punjab Univ. J. Zool., 28(2): 69-75.

Muirhead, H., Perutz, M., 1963. Structure of reduced human hemoglobin. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Nikam, S.V., Dama, S.B., Dama, L.B., Saraf, S.A., 2012. Geographical distribution and prevalence percentage of Thalassemia from Solapur, Maharashtra, India. DAV Int. J. Sci., 1(2): 91-95.

O’Donnell, J.T., Ahuja, G.D., 2005. Drug injury: Liability, analysis, and prevention, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company.

Peter, T., Rowley, M.D., 1976. The diagnosis of beta‐thalassemia trait: A review. Am. J. Hematol., 1(1): 129-137.

Rachmilewitz, E.A. Giardina, P.J., 2011. How I treat thalassemia. Blood, 118(13): 3479-3488.

Rathod, D.A., Kaur, A., Patel et al., 2007. Usefulness of cell counter–based parameters and formulas in detection of β-thalassemia trait in areas of high prevalence. Am. J. Clin. Pathol., 128(4): 585-589.

Thomas, J.P., 2001. “beta-Thalassemia Minor and Newly Diagnosed Polycythemia Rubra Vera in a 71-Year-Old Woman.” Hosp. Physician., 37(4): 78-83.

Usman, M., Moinuddin, M., Ahmed, S.A., 2011. Role of iron deficiency anemia in the propagation of beta thalssemia gene. Korean J. Hematol., 46(1): 41-44.  doi:  10.5045/kjh.2011.46.1.41.

Yamsri, S., Sanchaisuriya, K., Fucharoen, G., Sae-Ung, N., Fucharoen, S., 2011. Genotype and phenotype characterizations in a large cohort of β-thalassemia heterozygote with different forms of α-thalassemia in northeast Thailand. Blood Cells Mol. Dis., 47(2): 120-4.