Persistent fetal hemoglobin in maternal circulation complicating the diagnosis of fetomaternal hemorrhage

Michelle L. Kush, Michael V. Muench, Christopher R. Harman, Ahmet A. Baschat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Transplacental hemorrhage can be life threatening to a fetus and has important maternal treatment implications. In contrast, hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin is a condition that has little consequence. The Kleihauer-Betke test, which is routinely used to document transplacental hemorrhage, will be positive in either case. CASES: We report two cases in which maternal persistence of fetal hemoglobin was unknown and led to the erroneous diagnosis of fetomaternal hemorrhage. These cases highlight both the limitations of the Kleihauer-Betke test and the role of flow cytometry in diagnosing fetomaternal hemorrhage. CONCLUSION: The use of flow cytometry can clarify Kleihauer-Betke test results when there is known maternal persistence of fetal hemoglobin and can more precisely quantify a fetomaternal hemorrhage for accurate Rh immune globulin dosing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-874
Number of pages3
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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