Not just one disease but rather a complex series of genetic (inherited) disorders all of which involve underproduction of hemoglobin, the indispensable molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The globin part of hemoglobin is made up of 4 polypeptide chains (usually 2 chains of one type and 2 chains of another type of chain). In thalassemia, there is a mutation (change) in one of the types of globin chains. Depending upon which globin chain is affected, the mutation typically leads to underproduction (or absence) of that globin chain, a deficiency of hemoglobin, and anemia.

* * *

thal·as·se·mia or Brit thal·as·sae·mia .thal-ə-'sē-mē-ə n any of a group of inherited hypochromic anemias and esp. Cooley's anemia controlled by a series of allelic genes that cause reduction in or failure of synthesis of one of the globin chains making up hemoglobin and that tend to occur esp. in individuals of Mediterranean, African, or southeastern Asian ancestry sometimes used with a prefix (as alpha-, beta-, or delta-) to indicate the hemoglobin chain affected called also Mediterranean anemia see beta-thalassemia

* * *

thal·as·se·mia (thal″ə-seґme-ə) [Gr. thalassa sea (because it was observed originally in persons of Mediterranean stock) + -emia] a heterogeneous group of hereditary hemolytic anemias that have in common a decreased rate of synthesis of one or more hemoglobin polypeptide chains and are classified according to the chain involved (α, β, δ); the two major categories are α- and β-thalassemia. Homozygous forms are manifested by profound anemia or death in utero, and heterozygous forms by erythrocyte anomalies ranging from mild to severe.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Thalassemia — Classification and external resources ICD 10 D56 ICD 9 282.4 …   Wikipedia

  • thalassemia — thalassemia. См. эритробластическая анемия. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • thalassemia — from thalasso , comb. form of Gk. thalassa sea + haima blood (see EMIA (Cf. emia)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • thalassemia — [thal΄ə sē′mē ə] n. [ModL < Gr thalassa, sea + EMIA] an inherited chronic anemia, initially found among Mediterranean peoples, resulting from faulty hemoglobin production …   English World dictionary

  • thalassemia — /thal euh see mee euh/, n. Pathol. a hereditary form of anemia, occurring chiefly in people of Mediterranean origin, marked by the abnormal synthesis of hemoglobin and a consequent shortened life span of red blood cells. Also called Cooley s… …   Universalium

  • thalassemia — noun an inherited form of anemia caused by faulty synthesis of hemoglobin • Syn: ↑thalassaemia, ↑Mediterranean anemia, ↑Mediterranean anaemia • Hypernyms: ↑hypochromic anemia, ↑hypochromic anaemia, ↑monogenic disorder, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • thalassemia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek thalassa sea + New Latin emia Date: 1932 any of a group of inherited disorders of hemoglobin synthesis affecting the globin chain that are characterized usually by mild to severe hemolytic anemia, are caused… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • thalassemia — Hereditary blood disease in which there is abnormality of the globin portion of haemoglobin. Widespread in Mediterranean countries …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • thalassemia — noun Any of a group of inherited disorders in which the amount of hemoglobin in the blood is reduced …   Wiktionary

  • thalassemia — n. disease of the blood …   English contemporary dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”