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J Thromb Haemost. 2006 Mar;4(3):628-37.

Predictive value of sequential maternal anti-HPA-1a antibody concentrations for the severity of fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.

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INTS, Platelet Immunology Unit, Paris, France.



Fetal/neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia results from maternal immunization against fetal platelet alloantigens (HPAs), and the major risk is intracranial hemorrhage. The severity of thrombocytopenia increases in subsequent pregnancies, and antenatal therapy has been developed. Until now, the fetal status can only be assessed by fetal blood sampling, which carries a risk of fetal loss or premature delivery.


To develop non-invasive methods to gain information on the fetal condition.


Quantification of the maternal anti-HPA-1a alloantibody concentration was performed with a standardized monoclonal antibody-specific immobilization of platelet antigens (MAIPA) procedure for 43 mothers. A correlation between this concentration and the fetal/neonatal platelet counts was studied.


(i) Before antenatal therapy, there was a significant correlation between maternal anti-HPA-1a concentrations > or =250 AU mL(-1) and fetal thrombocytopenia (2-66 x 10(9) L(-1)) whatever the gestational age (Fisher's exact test P = 0.0021). (ii) During subsequent pregnancies, we observed a decrease of the maternal anti-HPA-1a concentration for 14/19 women. Just before delivery, all women had anti-HPA-1a concentrations <250 AU mL(-1). In four cases, there was a therapy failure and the severely thrombocytopenic babies required postnatal therapy.


The maternal anti-HPA-1a concentration could provide obstetricians with clinically useful information concerning the appropriateness and the timing of invasive monitoring procedures. However, though we observed a tendency toward a decrease in maternal antibody concentration after treatment, this finding does not allow us to draw any conclusions on the effectiveness of therapy.

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