Successful management of fetal hemolytic disease due to strong anti-Rh17 with plasma exchange and intrauterine transfusion in a woman with the D−− phenotype


The rare blood phenotype D−− is characterized by the absence of RhCcEe antigens. Women with this blood type who have experienced previous pregnancies may produce anti-Rh17 antibodies, which may cause severe fetal hemolytic anemia or fetal death in subsequent pregnancies. We report successful management of a pregnancy associated with fetal hemolytic disease owing to high titers of anti-Rh17 (1:4096) in a woman with a history of a pregnancy with fetal hydrops and intrauterine fetal death. During her second pregnancy, she received two sets of plasma exchange (PE) per week from weeks 12 till 20. Intrauterine transfusions (IUTs) were performed at 26, 27, 29, and 31 weeks. A male infant was born at 32 weeks and 4 days by normal vaginal delivery, with a birth weight of 1916 g (+ 0.16 SD). He received an exchange transfusion on day 0, immunoglobulin (intravenous immunoglobulin: 1 g/kg) on days 0 and 1, and photo therapy from days 0 to 6. He showed normal development without neurological abnormality and was discharged from the hospital on day 36. We successfully prevented complications caused by the presence of anti-Rh17 antibodies in the mother during pregnancy. The IUT and maternal PE may have promoted this favorable outcome.

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The authors would like to thank Enago ( for the English language review.

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Correspondence to Kazuya Mimura.

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Mimura, K., Endo, M., Takahashi, A. et al. Successful management of fetal hemolytic disease due to strong anti-Rh17 with plasma exchange and intrauterine transfusion in a woman with the D−− phenotype. Int J Hematol 111, 149–154 (2020).

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  • D−− 
  • Anti-Rh17
  • Hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn
  • Plasma exchange
  • Intrauterine transfusion