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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Sep;185(3):668-73.

The severity of immune fetal hydrops is predictive of fetal outcome after intrauterine treatment.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Fetal Medicine Unit, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the degree of immune fetal hydrops predicts outcome in red blood cell-alloimmunized pregnancies.

STUDY DESIGN:

In an 11-year period, 213 fetuses received 599 intrauterine transfusions. The outcome of 208 pregnancies, including two pairs of twins, was analyzed in a retrospective study. Eighty fetuses demonstrated ultrasonographic signs of hydrops at the start of treatment; 42 of these were classified as mildly hydropic and 38 were classified as severely hydropic. Reversal of hydrops as a result of treatment, survival, and neonatal morbidity was studied.

RESULTS:

The overall survival rate of fetuses with hydrops was 78%. Of the fetuses with mild hydrops, 98% survived, whereas in cases of severe hydrops the survival rate was 55%. Intrauterine reversal of hydrops occurred in 65% of the fetuses with hydrops. The reversal rate was 88% in fetuses with mild hydrops and 39% in fetuses classified as severely hydropic. After reversal of hydrops, almost all of the fetuses survived (98%), whereas in cases of persistent hydrops outcome was unfavorable, with a survival rate of 39% for all fetuses and 26% for fetuses classified as severely hydropic.

CONCLUSION:

In contrast with severe hydrops, there is a high rate of reversal of mild hydrops after adequate treatment. In our study 98% of fetuses survived after reversal of hydrops. To improve the outcome of red blood cell-alloimmunized pregnancies, early diagnosis of fetal anemia and referral to a specialized center are important; these steps enable the start of intrauterine treatment when hydrops is absent or still mild.

PMID:
11568796
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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