Genetic causes of haemophilia in women and girls
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Genetic causes of haemophilia in women and girls

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    Women and girls reported as "haemophilic females" may have complex genetic causes for their haemophilia phenotype. In addition, women and girls may have excessive bleeding requiring treatment simply because they are heterozygous for haemophilia alleles. While severe and moderate haemophilia are rare in females, 16% of patients with mild haemophilia A and almost one-quarter of those with mild haemophilia B seen in U.S. haemophilia treatment centres are women and girls. A phenotypic female with a low level of factor VIII or factor IX may be classified into one of the following categories of causality: homozygosity (two identical haemophilia alleles), compound heterozygosity (two different haemophilia alleles), hemizygosity (one haemophilia allele and no normal allele), heterozygosity (one haemophilia allele and one normal allele), genetic causes other than haemophilia and non-genetic causes. Studies required for classification may include coagulation parameters, F8 or F9 sequencing, F8 inversion testing, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, karyotyping and X chromosome inactivation studies performed on the patient and parents. Women and girls who are homozygous, compound heterozygous or hemizygous clearly have haemophilia, as they do not have a normal allele. Heterozygous women and girls with factor levels below the haemostatic range also meet the definitions used for haemophilia treatment.
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