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Concept: Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia


Both α- and β-thalassemia (α- and β-thal) are highly prevalent in the population of the Al-Qatif and Al-Ahsa regions in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This study provides a more precise picture of the α-thal mutations prevalent in 104 transfusion-dependent β-thal patients in the Eastern Province. Detection of α-thal mutations was carried out using the α-globin StripAssay kit. A total of 12 α-thal mutations (21 genotypes) were identified in 33.7% of the chromosomes (46 patients). The heterozygous and homozygous -α(3.7) (α(+)) deletion mutations were the most prevalent in the β-thal patients (21.7%). We identified three α(0) deletions [- -(MED), - -(FIL) and -(α)20.5] that have not been previously reported for the population of Saudi Arabia. The seven point mutations identified in the β-thal patients were: codon 14 [TGG>TAG (α1)], codon 59 [GGC>GAC (α1)] (Hb Adana), polyadenylation signal site (polyA1) [AATAAA>AATAAG (α2)], codon 142 [TAA>TCA (α2)] (Hb Koya Dora), codon 59 [GGC>GAC (α2)] (Hb Adana), initiation codon [ATG>ACG (α2)] and the ααα(anti 3.7) gene triplication. The Hb Koya Dora mutation occurred at the highest frequency (15.38%). Comparison of the clinical phenotype of β-thal patients, with and without an α-thal mutation, showed that patients with β-thal alone had a significantly elevated level of alanine transaminase (ALT) (mean 72.5 IU/L) and aspartate transaminase (AST) (mean 71.8 IU/L) (p <0.005). In addition, the β-thal patients without an α-thal mutation had a higher percentage of osteoporosis (16.6%), fractures (12.5%), and splenectomies (58.3%). This confirms previous data that the co-inheritance of α-thal in β-thal patients results in the amelioration of the clinical phenotype of β-thal patients. Moreover, the high frequency of α- and β-thal in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and their coinheritance, necessitates the inclusion of α-thal testing in the current pre marital testing program to highlight the risk to the offspring of affected individuals.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Aspartate transaminase, Alanine transaminase, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam


To assess the epidemiological characteristics of prematurity and survival rate in preterm infants diagnosed at a university hospital in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.  

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam, Ras Tanura


The levels of natural radioactivity have been investigated in some Saudi Arabian Gulf coastal areas. Sampling sites were chosen according to the presence of nearby non-nuclear industrial activities such as, the two main water desalination plants in Al Khobar and Al Jubail, and Maaden phosphate complex in Ras Al Khair, to ensure that effluents discharges into the Arabian Gulf didn’t enhance radioactivity in seawater and shore sediments. Seawater samples were analyzed for radium isotopes (Ra-226 & Ra-228) and measured by gamma spectrometry using high purity germanium detector, after radiochemical separation of the isotopes by co-precipitation with MnO2. Shore sediment samples were analyzed for (226)Ra, (228)Ra ((232)Th), (4)°K and (137)Cs using gamma sepectrometry. A small variation was observed in the activity concentrations of the investigated radioisotopes, and the activity levels were comparable to those reported in literature. Quality assurance and methods validation were established through the efficiency calibration of the detectors, the estimation of uncertainties, the use of blanks, the analysis of standard reference materials and the intercomparison and proficiency tests. Radiological hazards were assessed, and the annual effective dose had an average value of 0.02mSv. On the basis of the current results, we may conclude that any radiological hazards to the public visiting these shores are not expected.

Concepts: Water, Radioactive decay, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Desalination, Reverse osmosis, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam


Anxiety and depression during the antenatal period is a growing problem with major effects on the mother, the developing fetus, and the neonate.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Fetus, Hospital, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam, Ras Tanura


This study assessed the association between caries preventive measures including regular dental checkups, twice a day tooth brushing using fluoridated toothpaste and pit and fissure sealants on one side and the presence of caries among primary schoolchildren in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Oral hygiene, Fluoride therapy, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Al-Hasa, Dammam, Ras Tanura


The aim of this study was to evaluate the nonfatal drowning experience, risk factors, intrahospital assessment and postincidental outcomes for children admitted to King Fahd Hospital of the University, AlKhobar, Saudi Arabia, over a 10-year period.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, House of Saud, Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam, Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Khalid of Saudi Arabia


The first liver transplant in Saudi Arabia was performed in 1991; however, it was not until 1994 that the first structured liver transplant program was launched. Until 1997, all liver transplants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were deceased donor liver transplantations. Programs performing liver transplants needed the authorization of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT), which provides the essential support for organ procurement and allocation as well as regulatory support for organ transplantation in the country. Currently, there are four (4) liver transplant centers in KSA. Three (3) centers are in Riyadh, the capital city of KSA, and one is in the city of Dammam in the Eastern province. Pediatric living donor liver transplantation began in 1997, while the adult living donor liver transplantation program started four years later, in 2001. Currently, more than 2000 liver transplants have been performed by the 4 centers in KSA. Over 50% of those were performed at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH&RC) in Riyadh. The outcomes of these transplants have been comparable to the international standards. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of liver transplantation in KSA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Liver, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Organ transplant, Jeddah, Ha'il, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam


Morphological, anatomical and physiological plasticity was examined for Cakile arabica from three different sites at the coastal part of the Arabian Gulf near Ad Dammam city in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. Morphological investigation showed that the size and number of lobes of the leaves are increased in sites (I) which have high salt stress. Also anatomical investigation using a light microscope showed that the plant is adaptive for salt stress by increasing the thickening of the cuticle or epidermis layer and increase in the area of vascular bundles. Physiological studies showed that plant growing under high salt stress is characterized by increase content of electrical conductivity and increase in chlorophyll a, b, carotenoids and proline content in the plant tissues. This can be explained as an osmotic adjustment mechanism for the investigated species growing under high salinity stress.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, United Arab Emirates, Gulf War, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam, Hofuf


This study presents the level of organochlorine pesticide (OC) residues in human milk samples collected from donor mothers aged from 18 to 30 years old, from four cities in Eastern district of Saudi Arabia (Al-Hassa, Al- Khobar, Al-Jubail, and Al-Dammam). Pesticides residues were extracted from the samples and analyzed using GC-MS. The results showed that, only pp'DDE and p,pDDD, were found in 82.5% and 70% of analyzed samples respectively, the total DDT were at level of 0.37, 0.32, 0.30 and 0.46 μg/L in the four cities respectively and were far below the MRL of 50 μg/L (FAO/WHO). The estimated daily intake (EDI) of DDT ingested by infant weight 3.5 kg ranged between 0.06 and 0.10 μg/kg, which is less than the ADI issued by (EFSA, 2014). Lindane (γ-HCH) found in 91.25% of the analyzed samples at level of 0.37, 0.35, 0.35 and 0.29 μg/L. The EDIs of Lindane by infant were far below the ADI of 5 μg/kg bw/day. Dieldrin and Enderin were found in 27.5% and 58.8% of samples respectively and were lower than MRL issued by FAO/WHO, but the (EDI) was higher than the ADI issued by EFSA. The isomer A-heptachlor was detected in 51% of the samples, at levels were 15 times lower than the MRL issued by FAO/WHO, but EDIs by infants were 2-4 times higher than the ADI issued by EFSA. However, the results of the four studied areas in Saudi Arabia showed no statistically different among locations (p > 0.05).

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, United Arab Emirates, Pesticide, Insecticide, DDT, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, Dammam