normal fetal Hb (Hb F) of molecular formula a2A?2F, which is the major Hb component during intrauterine life, decreasing rapidly during infancy to reach a concentration of less than 0.5% in normal children and adults; the concentration of Hb F is increased in some hemoglobinopathies and in some cases of hypoplastic anemia, pernicious anemia, and leukemia; Hb F has a weaker affinity for 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate than does Hb A. More than 50 mutant variants of the ? chain have been reported.
Synonym(s): fetal hemoglobin
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