African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 15, No. 2, 2015, pp. 682-689
Bioline Code: hs15094
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2015, pp. 682-689
© Copyright 2015 - African Health Sciences
Alpha thalassemia among sickle cell anaemia patients in Kampala, Uganda|
Lubega, Irene; Ndugwa, Christopher M.; Mworozi, Edison A. & Tumwine, James K.
Background: Sickle cell anaemia is prevalent in sub Saharan Africa. While α+-thalassaemia is known to modulate sickle cell
anaemia, its magnitude and significance in Uganda have hitherto not been described.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of α+thalassaemia among sickle cell anaemia patients in Mulago Hospital and to
describe the clinical and laboratory findings in these patients.
Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out on patients with sickle cell anaemia in Kampala. Dried blood spots were
used to analyze for the deletional α+ thalassaemia using multiplex polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Of the 142 patients with sickle cell anaemia, 110 (77.5%) had the α+thalassaemia deletion. The gene frequency
of (-α) was 0.425. Ninety one percent (100/110) of those with α+thalassaemia were heterozygous (α/α-). Amongst the
patients older than 60 months, 15 (83.3%) of those without α+thalassaemia had significant hepatomegaly of greater than
4 cm compared to 36 (45.6%) of those with α+thalassaemia (p=0.003).
Conclusion: The gene frequency of (-α) of 0.425 noted in this study is higher than that reported from many places in Africa.
Concurrent alpha thalassemia might be a protective trait against significant hepatomegaly in sickle cell anaemia patients
more than 60 months of age at Mulago hospital.
Keywords: Alpha thalassemia; sickle cell anaemia patient; Kampala; Uganda
Alpha thalassemia; sickle cell anaemia patients; Kampala; Uganda