, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 77-81

Early detection of RhD status in pregnancies at risk of hemolytic disease of the newborn

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The aim of this work was to investigate the presence of the RHD gene in fetal cells obtained from amniotic fluid. We studied 65 samples of amniotic fluid, 11 from RhD-negative mothers sensitized with anit-D alloantibodies. The fetal origin of the DNA was confirmed with the analysis of 1 VNTR locus and 3 STR loci in DNA samples from amniotic fluid and maternal blood. The RHD genotyping was performed in non-contaminated samples (n=62) using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction strategy that yields three amplification products from RhD-positive phenotypes (intron 4 of both RHCE and RHD genes and exon 10 of the RHD gene) and 1 DNA fragment from RhD-negative phenotypes (intron 4 of the RHCE gene). We genotyped 54 RhD-positive fetuses (8 from RhD-negative sensitized mothers) and 8 RhD-negative fetuses (3 from RhD-negative sensitized mothers). The fetal DNA genotyping allows the diagnosis, from a single amniocentesis, of fetuses at real risk of hemolytic disease of the newborn. When the fetus is determined to be RhD-negative invasive procedures can be avoided.

Received: 17 October 2001 / Accepted: 26 May 2002