Association between phenotype and genotype in carriers of haemophilia A


Wolfgang Miesbach, MD, Medical Clinic III, Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Goethe University Hospital, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, D-60590 Frankfurt, Germany.
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Summary.  Female carriers of haemophilia might suffer from increased bleeding tendency therefore the assessment of the bleeding risk is very important for improving care. This single-centre study documents the occurrence of bleedings in 46 carriers of haemophilia A including bleeding after tooth extraction (77%), easy bruising (67%), postsurgical bleeding (61%), menorrhagia (50%) or prolonged postpartum bleeding (43%). The F8 gene mutation of all 46 carriers (median age: 36.5 years, 15–80 years; mean FVIII:C activity: 59 ± 24.45%; normal range: 64–167%) was determined, and family history of haemophilia was recorded. For analysis, the bleeding tendency of the carriers was differentiated by severity into three groups. There was no statistically significant difference of FVIII:C between these groups. However, a correlation was found between the severity of bleeding tendency and the type of F8 gene mutation (P < 0.05) as well as the severity of haemophilia in affected male relatives (P < 0.0005). Results show that even carriers with a FVIII:C activity as high as 50–60% are at increased risk of bleeding. Incidence and intensity of bleeding symptoms of haemophilia A carriers are high and correlated with the phenotype of the male haemophilic relative and the underlying F8 gene mutation.