Elevations of Thrombotic Biomarkers in Hemoglobin H Disease

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Background: Thalassemia is a group of hereditary hemoglobinopathies caused by decreased or absent synthesis of α and/or β globin chains. Studies have shown that hypercoagulability and thrombosis are common clinical symptoms in β-thalassemia, especially β-thalassemia intermedia, but little is known about in α-thalassemia. This study aims to examine phosphatidylserine (PS) levels, platelet activation, and coagulation markers in splenectomized (S) and nonsplenectomy (NS) patients with hemoglobin (Hb) H disease. Methods: The NS group comprised 20 patients (median age 15.0 years, range, 14–16.5 years), and the S group consisted of 11 patients (median age 16.4 years, range, 14–19.9 years) with Hb H disease; the control group consisted of 20 normal subjects. Hematological parameters were collected. Flow cytometry was used to measure PS exposure on red blood cells. The levels of intercellular adhesive molecule (ICAM)-1, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), β-thromboglobulin (TG) and prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (F1.2) were determined using ELISA test kits. Results: Significant increases in the levels of PS, ICAM-1, TNFα, β-TG, and F1.2 were observed in both patient groups compared to normal controls (p < 0.01). Conclusion: This observation indicates blood coagulation, endothelial injury, chronic low-grade inflammation, platelet activation, and thrombin generation are present in Hb H disease; these findings merit further assessment in a larger prospective cohort to establish possible links with thrombotic manifestations.

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