Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Fetal blood and amniotic fluid samples were obtained fetoscopically from 59 rhesus-isoimmunized pregnancies at 18 to 25 weeks' gestation. Fetal hemoglobin was measured and amniotic fluid optical density deviation at a wavelength of 450 nm determined. Two sets of normal reference values for optical density at 450 nm and fetal hemoglobin at 16 to 36 and 16 to 25 weeks were established from 475 amniotic fluid and 153 fetal blood samples obtained from pregnancies not complicated by fetal hemolysis. As expected, there was a significant linear correlation between the degree of fetal anemia and the amniotic fluid optical density at 450 nm in rhesus-isoimmunized pregnancies. However, the values of optical density at 450 nm were widely scattered, thereby limiting their ability to predict accurately the severity of disease in these second-trimester pregnancies. In 25 of the patients, the value of optical density at 450 nm was determined at 6 to 16 days before fetoscopy. The severity of fetal anemia could not be predicted by the trend in optical density at 450 nm. These data suggest that the only reliable method to determine the severity of rhesus isoimmunization in the second trimester of pregnancy is the direct measurement of fetal hemoglobin.

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