Feto-maternal rhesus incompatibility

Radswiki et al.

Feto-maternal rhesus (Rh) incompatibility is a situation when the maternal blood is Rh-negative blood and the fetal blood is Rh-positive (from paternal inheritance). It is a type fetomaternal blood group incompatibility and can, in turn, lead to several complications which classically includes the development of immune hydrops fetalis (IHF)

The incidence rate had decreased worldwide over the years and is currently estimated to be at ~ 6 per 1000 live births (2002) 4-5.

Rhesus incompatibility can lead to rhesus alloimmunisation where maternal antibodies may cross the placenta, bind to antigens present on the fetal erythrocytes and then cause haemolysis.

Doppler ultrasound can be used to detect features of a fetal anaemia.

In severe cases, blood transfusion in utero is an option. The current day prognosis in a majority of cases is good with perinatal survival rates of more than 90% being reported; the development of hydrops fetalis can reduce the chance for a viable outcome by up to 25%. Prophylactic administration of Rho(D) immune globulin (e.g. RhoGAM) during the delivery for the first pregnancy may reduce the risk for subsequent pregnancies.

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Article information

rID: 15409
System: Obstetrics
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Rhesus (Rh) incompatibility
  • Fetomaternal rhesus (Rh) incompatibility
  • Fetomaternal (Rh) Rhesus incompatibility
  • Fetomaternal Rh incompatibility
  • Rh incompatibility
  • Rhesus alloimmunization in pregnancy
  • Rhesus isoimmunization in pregnancy
  • Fetomaternal rhesus incompatibility

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