[Immune cytopenias in newborns]

Y Brossard
La Revue du Praticien 2001 September 15, 51 (14): 1571-6
Rhesus D haemolytic disease of the newborn (RH HDN) and neonatal PlA1 alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAT) are the main immune cytopenias affecting fetal red blood cells or platelets through maternal antibodies. During RH HDN, fetal anaemia and neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia may progress, if untreated, towards fetal death and neonatal kernicterus. Likewise, during NAT, intracranial haemorrhage may occur antenally, at delivery or postnatally. Fetal and neonatal transfusion therapy, pre-term delivery, and intensive phototherapy avoid or greatly reduce the incidence of these complications. However, the best treatment of RH HDN is to prevent primary anti-D immunisation in Rh negative pregnant women through passive immunotherapy with Rh immune globulin.

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