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Abstract

Blood from a woman with unexplained erythrocytosis had increased oxygen affinity, but no abnormality could be detected by electrophoresis or chromatography of her hemolysate. Separation of the tryptic peptides of her beta chains disclosed two half-sized peaks in the regions of beta T- 11. The faster of these was abnormal, with the structure beta 101 Glu replaced by Asp. The new hemoglobin was called “Potomac.” Three of the proband's four surviving siblings and both of her children were carriers. Differences in the ratio of carrier: normal children born to male of female carriers of 23 other high-affinity hemoglobins were not significant. The high proportion of carriers in this kindred was probably due to chance alone, and not because high maternal oxygen affinity interfered with oxygen transport to fetuses with normal hemoglobin.