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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Alpha Thalassemia. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Silent Carrier

In silent carrier alpha thalassemia, anemia is absent. The red blood cell count is within normal limits. Hemoglobin is also within normal limits. The MCHC (mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration) and MCV (mean cell volume) are normal to slightly decreased. The RDW (red cell distribution width) is within normal limits. Red blood cell morphology and reticulocyte percentage are normal.

Hemoglobin electrophoresis demonstrates a normal adult pattern:

Hb A - 95-98%
Hb A2 - 1.5-3.7%
Hb F - <2%

Note: Neonates have 1-2% Bart's Hemoglobin (gamma chain tetramers). Hb H inclusions are rarely seen. Bone marrow is also normal.