International Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Research

Establishment of cost effective screening method for hemoglobinopathies in undergraduate medical students

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Article Type : Research Article

Author Details: Ashishkumar Agravatt,Amit Tyagi,Hiren Sanghani*,Rameshchandra Patel,Nayna R Lakum

Volume : 6

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2394-6377

Print ISSN : 2394-6369

Article First Page : 143

Article End Page : 147


Introduction: Hemoglobinopathies are the most common group of single gene disorders worldwide. These disorders are major public health problem in many parts of the world including India with cumulative gene frequency of 4.2%. To reduce the burden of homozygotes of these disorders, it is essential that the carrier stage detection with genetic counseling in young individuals is done by a cost effective screening program.
Aims and Objectives: To establish screening tests like red cell indices, solubility test for Hb S and hemoglobin electrophoresis and screen students of GMERS medical college, Junagadh for hemoglobinopathies and confirming suspected cases of β-thalassemia minor and HbD at Red Cross Society laboratory, Ahmedabad.
Materials and Methods: In this descriptive cross sectional study, blood samples were collected in EDTA vacutainers from 150 students of GMERS Medical College, Junagadh, (Gujarat). Red blood cell indices, solubility test for Hb S and qualitative Hemoglobin Electrophoresis on agarose gel were performed to know the type of hemoglobin variant. Low Hb, MCV & MCH and borderline or high RBC count were suggestive of thalassemia minor. Confirmation of Hb D and suspected β-thalassemia minor cases was done by HPLC at Red Cross Society laboratory, Ahmedabad.
Results and Conclusion: Out of 150 medical students screened, 72 were males sand 78 were females with mean age of 19 years. Hemoglobinopathies were detected in 18 students with prevalence of 12%. Seven cases of sickle trait, 1 case of sickle disease, 7 cases of β-thalassemia minor and 3 cases of heterozygous Hb D were detected. Red blood cell indices, Solubility test for Hb S and agarose gel Hb electrophoresis are convenient and cost effective techniques, where costly equipments are not affordable. Both medical and paramedical persons can be easily trained in these screening techniques. Detecting carriers by screening medical students for hemoglobinopathies and providing genetic counseling, we can hope to produce sensitized doctors, who will contribute in reducing prevalence of hemoglobinopathies in future.

Keywords: Hemoglobinopathies, β-thalassemia, Red cell indices, Hb electrophoresis.

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