Screening of Thalassemia Carrier Traits in Students Using the One Tube Osmotic Fragility Method


Thalassemia is an inherited disorder resulting from a mutation or deletion of a gene that causes one of the globin chains to experience a decrease or cessation in the rate of synthesis. This leads to a decrease in the rate of haemoglobin synthesis. The highest prevalence of thalassemia in the world is found in tropical countries. The incidence of thalassemia carriers in Indonesia ranges from 6-10%. Thalassemia screening can be carried out by several examinations, including one tube osmotic fragility (OTOF) examination, red blood cell index, peripheral blood morphology and electrochemistry of haemoglobin. This study aimed to examine the screening of thalassemia carriers in undergraduate students using osmotic fragment examination of the OTOF method. This study used descriptive methods with 100 TLM D3 female students not yet known to have thalassemia. Univariate analyses were carried out. The results of the capillary blood samples indicated that 12% of the students were positive (indicating a suspected carrier of thalassemia) and 88% were negative according to the OTOF method using a hypotonic solution of 0.36% NaCl. From the positive OTOF results, the percentage of haemolysis was measured with varying results (17% - 65%). Those who had positive OTOF results in general were without significant symptoms. The findings accentuate that early detection of thalassemia is important.

Keywords: thalassemia, OTOF, microcytic, hypochromic

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