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Lancet. 2003 Jul 5;362(9377):41-2.

Fetal HLA typing in beta thalassaemia: implications for haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation.

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Universita degli Studi di Cagliari, Department of Biomedical Science and Biotechnology, Paediatric Clinic of the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Cagliari, Italy.


Stem-cell transplantation can cure beta thalassaemia. We aimed to assess whether fetal HLA typing done early in the pregnancy of couples who were at risk of beta thalassaemia could provide an alternative to pregnancy termination if the prospect of a bone-marrow transplantation from a family member was available. In our clinic in Sardinia, we did fetal HLA typing for 49 couples at risk of having a baby with beta thalassaemia. Two affected children were born and successfully received a transplantation from a family donor. Five non-affected fetuses were HLA compatible with an affected sibling and their cord blood was harvested for a future transplantation.

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