Intravascular monitoring and management of erythroblastosis fetalis

Richard L. Berkowitz, Usha Chitkara, Isabelle A. Wilkins, Lauren Lynch, Harvey Plosker, Howard H. Bernstein

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47 Scopus citations


Over a 27-month period 17 pregnancies in 16 patients with severe red blood cell isoimmunization were managed with intravascular transfusions performed in utero. Fourteen of these women were Rh negative and sensitized to D or to both D and C, and the remaining two patients were sensitized to the Kell antigen (K). In 12 of the 17 cases (71%) the first intravascular transfusion was performed at 26.5 weeks' gestation or earlier. Thirty-nine of 45 attempted transfusions (87%) were successfully performed. All were done percutaneously under ultrasonic guidance. Two procedures were partial exchanges, while the remainder were straight transfusions. Thirteen of the 17 fetuses (76%) were alive at birth and survived the neonatal period. Four fetuses died in utero at 25 to 26 weeks' gestation, all within 12 hours of an intravascular transfusion. When the 27 procedures attempted during the most recent 9 months of this series were compared with the 18 procedures attempted during the preceding 18 months, no appreciable differences in technical success or fetal outcome were evident. An analysis of this experience is presented, along with modifications in technique that have been implemented. Unresolved issues are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-791
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988


  • Intravascular transfusion
  • in utero transfusion
  • red blood cell isoimmunization


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