Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A case of haemoglobin Bart's hydrops syndrome was characterised in a Greek family with a history of three other fetuses with hydrops. Family studies showed that both the mother and father carried alpha-thalassaemia genes, and globin-chain synthesis analysis of the present fetus showed a total absence of alpha-chain production. The haemoglobin composition of the fetus was similar to that seen in cases in south-east Asia, and analysis of DNA from the Greek case confirmed the total deletion of the alpha-chain genes. The extent of the deletion, however, differed from that seen in south-east Asian cases and included the loss of one of the embryonic zeta-chain genes. Thus the severe form of alpha-thalassaemia occurs in Greece but has arisen independently from the similar condition in south-east Asia. The condition must be considered in any woman of this racial background who gives a history of unexplained stillbirths.


Journal article


Br Med J

Publication Date





268 - 270


Adult Edema/embryology/*genetics Female Fetal Death Globins/genetics Greece Hemoglobinopathies/embryology/*genetics Hemoglobins, Abnormal/analysis Human Male Pregnancy Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Syndrome Thalassemia/*genetics