Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia associated with maternal anti-HLA antibody: A case report

Maria Luz Uy Del Rosario, Eduardo R. Fox, Thomas Stephen Kickler, Kuo Jang Kao

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Purpose: Although neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT) due to maternal sensitization to human platelet antigens is well described, the role of maternal anti-human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies in NAIT is not yet firmly established. Patient: A 31-week-old girl born prematurely to a G2P0A1 mother was noted to have thrombocytopenia which lasted 18 days without any evidence of infection. Materials and Methods: Platelet-associated IgG, anti- platelet antibody, and platelet PL(A1) antigen typing were determined using a commercial solid-phase red cell adherent test. Antibodies to platelet glycoproteins human platelet antigen (HPA) 1 to 5 were determined using a commercial ELISA. Anti-HLA antibodies were assayed using a standard lymphocytotoxicity test. Activities and IgG subclass of anti-HLA antibodies in plasma of the mother and other postpartum mothers were measured using purified HLA antigens in an enzyme linked immunoassay. Results: Both mother and infant were positive for HPA-1 (PL(A1)) antigens. The mother's HLA phenotype was A3, A31, B7, B27. The level of platelet-associated IgG was not increased on maternal platelets; however, increased platelet-associated IgG was detected on the infant's platelets. Antibodies to platelet glycoproteins HPA 1 to 5 were not detectable in the maternal plasma. Maternal serum was positive for anti-HLA antibodies, which reacted to 23 of 27 panel cells. The presence of HLA antibodies was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Of note, the maternal antibodies reacted positively to the infant's platelets and anti-IgG anti-HLA antibodies were detected in the serum sample from the infant collected at birth. When the activity and IgG subclass of the maternal anti-HLA antibodies were compared with those of other mothers known to have high anti-HLA antibody activity, no differences were noted. Conclusion: This report documents a patient with neonatal thrombocytopenia induced by maternal IgG anti-HLA antibody. Neither activity nor IgG subclass could explain the occurrence of NAIT. The factors that contribute to NAIT induced by maternal anti-HLA antibodies remain to be identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1998



  • Anti-HLA antibody
  • Neonate
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Hematology

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