Hemoglobin C disease is a blood disorder passed down through families. It leads to a type of anemia, which causes red blood cells to break down earlier than normal.
Clinical hemoglobin C
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
Hemoglobin C is a problem with hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen. It is a type of hemoglobinopathy . The disease is caused by problem with a gene called beta globin.
The disease most often occurs in African Americans. You are more likely to develop hemoglobin C disease if someone in your family has had it.
Most people do not have symptoms. Occasionally, jaundice may occur. Some persons with this disease may develop gallstones that require treatment.
Signs and tests:
Physical examination reveals an enlarged spleen .
Tests that may be done include:
Usually no treatment is needed. Folic acid supplementation may help your body produce normal red blood cells and improve the symptoms of the anemia.
People with hemoglobin C disease can expect to lead a normal life.
Complications include episodes of pain, hip problems, vision problems, and gallbladder disease .
Calling your health care provider:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of hemoglobin C disease.
Genetic counseling may be appropriate for high-risk couples who wish to have a baby.
Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2007:1225-1226.
|Review Date: 11/14/2008|
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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