Background: Hemoglobin Shepherds Bush (Human Genome Variation Society name: HBB:c.224G > A) is an unstable hemoglobin variant resulting from a β 74 GGC to GAC mutation (Gly to Asp) that manifests clinically as hemolytic anemia or gall bladder disease due to chronic subclinical hemolysis.
Case presentation: We report a Pennsylvania family of English descent with this condition, first noticed in a 6-year-old female. The proband presented with splenomegaly, fatigue, dark urine and an elevated indirect bilirubin. Hemoglobin identification studies and subsequent genetic testing performed according to a systematic algorithm elucidated the diagnosis of Hb Shepherds Bush.
Conclusions: This is the first case of this rare hemoglobin variant identified in North America to our knowledge. It was identified using a systematic algorithm of diagnostic tests that should be followed whenever considering a rare hemoglobinopathy as part of the differential diagnosis.