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Sickle cell anemia (SCA) is a disease characterized by abnormal red blood cell rheology. Because of their effects on HbS polymerization and red blood cell deformability, alpha-thalassemia and the residual HbF level are known genetic modifiers of the disease. The aim of our study was to determine if the number of HbF quantitative trait loci (QTL) would also favor a specific sub-phenotype of SCA as it is the case for alpha-thalassemia. Our results confirmed that alpha-thalassemia protected from cerebral vasculopathy but increased the risk for frequent painful vaso-occlusive crises. We also showed that more HbF-QTL may provide an additional and specific protection against cerebral vasculopathy but only for children with alpha-thalassemia (-α/αα or -α/-α genotypes).


Philippe Joly, Nathalie Bonello-Palot, Catherine Badens, Serge Pissard, Abdourahim Chamouine, Françoise Bernaudin, Yves Bertrand, Philippe Connes, Céline Renoux. HbF-promoting polymorphisms may specifically reduce the residual risk of cerebral vasculopathy in SCA children with alpha-thalassemia. Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation. 2021;77(3):267-272

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PMID: 33216016

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