[Immunohematological surveillance of the pregnant woman: new prevention policy]

L Mannessier
Transfusion Clinique et Biologique: Journal de la Société Française de Transfusion Sanguine 2009, 16 (2): 195-200
Despite the generalization of immunoprophylaxis by anti-RH immunoglobulins over 40 years, fetomaternal incompatibility due to RH1 antigen (RhD) is not completely eradicated, although perinatal consequences might be extremely serious. Additionally, allo-immunizations against other antigens, especially anti-RH4 (anti-c) and anti-KEL1 (anti-Kell), may cause severe haemolytic disease. Follow-up of allo-immunization during pregnancy and its prevention are therefore still a concern for all pregnant women. Immunohaematological tests used in antenatal patients are under practice for a long time. However, despite significant progress, it is clear that these tests provide only an indirect indication and will only help the obstetrician, in conjunction with over fetal parameters, to assess the severity of the haemolytic disease. Since almost two decades, fetal RHD genotyping became a reality, first using amniocytes, but more recently by analyzing fetal DNA present in the maternal plasma. RH prophylaxis concerns RH:-1 women, who are non-sensitized against RH1 antigen during and at the end of their pregnancy with a RH1 child. RH prophylaxis includes targeted prophylaxis after foetomaternal haemorrhage and now routine antenatal RH prophylaxis at 28 gestation weeks. Indications for RH prophylaxis and immunohaematological testing to assure an efficient therapeutic prevention have been summarized in France through specific recommendations of the National College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians.

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