Maternal ABO-mismatched blood for intrauterine transfusion of severe hemolytic disease of the newborn due to anti-Rh17

G A Denomme, G Ryan, P G R Seaward, E N Kelly, B J Fernandes
Transfusion 2004, 44 (9): 1357-60

BACKGROUND: Clinically significant antibodies to high-incident antigens present a challenge in hemolytic disease of the newborn. Antigen-negative blood may be difficult to obtain for intrauterine transfusion (IUT). In these instances, maternal blood is de facto compatible regardless of an ABO mismatch.

CASE REPORT: A group B/D-- woman with a history of hemolytic disease of the newborn due to anti-Rh17 (titer 256) presented to the obstetrical clinic at 12 weeks gestation for management of her third pregnancy. She consented to donate blood for possible IUT.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Washed maternal packed cells were suspended in saline to 75 percent Hct and irradiated before transfusion. The fetus was transfused via the intrahepatic vein.

RESULTS: Ultrasound examination at 19 weeks indicated a hydropic fetus. The fetal blood group was O Rh+, direct antiglobulin test 4+, and hemoglobin 22 g per L. A total of 368 mL of maternal blood was transfused during seven procedures. Labor was induced at 38 weeks, and a 2560-g male infant was delivered by Caesarian-section due to fetal distress. The infant grouped as B Rh+, direct antiglobulin test negative. No group O red blood cells were detected. The hemoglobin level was 143 g per L rising to 209 g per L at discharge 3 days later. The indirect bilirubin was 55 micromol/L and remained stable during the hospital stay. Phototherapy was discontinued after 1 day, and the infant was discharged without an exchange or top-up transfusion.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal ABO-mismatched blood is an alternate source for IUT in instances when antigen-compatible allogenic blood is unavailable.

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