alpha-thalassemia

noun
al·​pha-thal·​as·​se·​mia
variants: also α-thalassemia \ ˌal-​fə-​ˌtha-​lə-​ˈsē-​mē-​ə How to pronounce alpha-thalassemia (audio) \

Medical Definition of alpha-thalassemia

: thalassemia in which the hemoglobin chains designated alpha are affected

Note: The severity of alpha-thalassemia is directly related to the number of defects occurring in the four genes controlling synthesis of the alpha hemoglobin chain. Defects in one or two of the genes causes a condition that is asymptomatic or marked by mild anemia. Defects in three of the genes cause a condition marked by hemolytic anemia and enlargement of the spleen. Defects in all four genes is fatal and results in a fetus that is stillborn or critically ill with hydrops fetalis.

— compare beta-thalassemia

Learn More About alpha-thalassemia

Dictionary Entries Near alpha-thalassemia

alpha-synuclein

alpha-thalassemia

alpha-tocopherol

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Alpha-thalassemia.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/alpha-thalassemia. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!