The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in fetal cord samples utilized as serum supplements for in vitro fertilization

Marian D. Damewood, John S. Hesla, William D. Schlaff, Meriella Hubbard, John T. Repke, John A. Rock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Prior to initiating routine fetal cord serum (FCS) supplementation in our in vitro laboratory, the incidence of HIV in 306 random fetal cord samples obtained at the Labor and Delivery Unit of the Johns Hopkins Hospital from July 1985 to January 1988 was determined from a crosssectional patient sample. Of 306 samples, 3 (0.98%) were positive for HIV, and confirmed by Western blot analysis, enzyme immunoassay (ELISA), a prevalence significantly higher than a national sample (0.012%). The use of FCS in this setting was determined to be an unacceptable risk to patients undergoing in vitro fertilization. The 90-day quarantine period for verification of HIV seronegativity applied to semen donors may not be applicable to FCS sampling. Patient risk may also increase with pooling of FCS samples prior to HIV testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-366
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990



  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • in vitro fertilization
  • serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology

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