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Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2006 Spring;36(2):205-7.

Severe hemolytic disease of the newborn in a group B African-American infant delivered by a group O mother.

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Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, West Pavilion P230, 619 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35249-7331, USA.


Maternal-fetal ABO incompatibility is a common hematological problem affecting the newborn. In general, hemolysis is minimal and the clinical course is relatively benign, rarely causing the escalating levels of hyperbilirubinemia and significant anemia commonly associated with Rh hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). The incidence of HDN ranges from one in 150 births to 1:3000 births, depending on the degree of anemia and level of serum bilirubin. The etiology of ABO hemolytic disease of the newborn (ABO-HDN) is complex because anti-A and anti-B antibodies are composed mainly of IgM. Since only IgG antibodies cross the placenta, those pregnant women with high levels of IgG anti-A,B, anti-A, or anti-B with an ABO incompatible fetus will be the ones to give birth to an infant with ABO-HDN. We describe a case of a B/Rh positive term newborn born to an O/Rh negative African-American mother demonstrating aggressive hemolysis and a robust response of the bone marrow. This case was successfully managed with phototherapy and simple RBC transfusion without the need for exchange transfusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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