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

Lancet. 2003 Jul 5;362(9377):41-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13806-8.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases / immunology*
  • Fetal Diseases / therapy
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Histocompatibility Testing* / ethics
  • Humans
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / ethics
  • Risk Factors
  • Siblings
  • beta-Thalassemia / diagnosis
  • beta-Thalassemia / immunology*
  • beta-Thalassemia / therapy*