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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 552-560

Invasive & non-invasive approaches for prenatal diagnosis of haemoglobinopathies: Experiences from India


National Institute of Immunohaematology (ICMR), Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
R B Colah
Scientist F, National Institute of Immunohaematology (ICMR), 13th Floor, NMS Bldg, KEM Hospital Campus, Parel, Mumbai 400 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 22089620

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The thalassaemias and sickle cell disease are the commonest monogenic disorders in India. There are an estimated 7500 - 12,000 babies with β-thalassaemia major born every year in the country. While the overall prevalence of carriers in different States varies from 1.5 to 4 per cent, recent work has shown considerable variations in frequencies even within States. Thus, micromapping would help to determine the true burden of the disease. Although screening in antenatal clinics is being done at many centres, only 15-20 per cent of pregnant women register in antenatal clinics in public hospitals in the first trimester of pregnancy. There are only a handful of centres in major cities in this vast country where prenatal diagnosis is done. There is considerable molecular heterogeneity with 64 mutations identified, of which 6 to 7 common mutations account for 80-90 per cent of mutant alleles. First trimester foetal diagnosis is done by chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and DNA analysis using reverse dot blot hybridization, amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) and DNA sequencing. Second trimester diagnosis is done by cordocentesis and foetal blood analysis on HPLC at a few centres. Our experience on prenatal diagnosis of haemoglobinopathies in 2221 pregnancies has shown that >90 per cent of couples were referred for prenatal diagnosis of β-thalassaemia after having one or more affected children while about 35 per cent of couples were referred for prenatal diagnosis of sickle cell disorders prospectively. There is a clear need for more data from India on non-invasive approaches for prenatal diagnosis.


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