Hematological data and globin synthesis studies in 8 α-thalassemic children whose parents are from various regions in the Middle East are reported. All patients were devoid of Hb H. 5 of them had mild anemia, hypochromia and microcytosis and their blood α-/non-α-globin radioactivity ratios ranged between 0.56 and 0.75. The other 3 patients were hematologically normal with blood radioactivity ratios between 0.77 and 0.88. Bone marrow studies showed balanced globin chain synthesis for 6 of the patients and relatively more α-globin synthesis than in the blood for the remaining 2. The decrease in the relative synthesis of α-globin on erythroid cell maturation may relate to the molecular basis of α-thalassemia in the Middle East.

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