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normal fetal Hb (Hb F) of molecular formula α2Aγ2F, 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 γ chain have been reported.
Synonym(s): fetal hemoglobin
The predominant form of hemoglobin in fetuses and newborn infants, present in small amounts in adults but often elevated in adults with certain forms of anemia and other disorders.