Mediterranean anemia; Cooley's anemia; Beta thalassemia; Alpha thalassemia
The most severe form of alpha thalassemia major causes
Children born with thalessemia major (Cooley's anemia) are normal at birth, but develop severe
Other symptoms can include:
- Bone deformities in the face
- Growth failure
Shortness of breath
- Yellow skin (
Persons with the minor form of alpha and beta thalassemia have small red blood cells (which are identified by looking at their red blood cells under a microscope), but no symptoms.
Signs and tests
A physical exam may reveal a swollen (enlarged) spleen.
A blood sample will be taken and sent to a laboratory for examination.
- Red blood cells will appear small and abnormally shaped when looked at under a microscope.
- A complete blood count (CBC) reveals anemia.
- A test called
hemoglobin electrophoresisshows the presence of an abnormal form of hemoglobin.
A test called mutational analysis can help detect alpha thalassemia that cannot be seen with