Enhancement of Antibody Titre and Development of Additional Red Cell Alloantibodies Following Intrauterine Transfusion

  • Anju DubeyEmail author
  • Atul Sonker
  • Rajendra Chaudhary


Intrauterine blood transfusion is the mainstay of managing foetuses with severe anemia. It may however result in fetomaternal hemorrhage, which in cases of Rh isoimmunisation may increase the severity of the disease by enhancing the maternal immunological response to fetal antigens. This study was conducted to determine the frequency, specificity and origin of additional red cell antibodies which developed after IUT. The change in the titre of allo anti-D following IUT was also determined. Antibody detection and titration was done on the blood samples of all the patients before and after intrauterine blood transfusion to check for the development of additional antibody and change in the titre of existing anti-D. Severe anemia was found in 17 (58.6 %) fetuses who received a total of 42 ultrasound-guided IUTs. Development of antibodies additional to anti-D in maternal serum was seen in 5 (29.4 %) cases. The specificity of additional alloantibodies was anti-C in four cases whereas it was anti-E in one case. Four fold or greater increase in existing allo-anti D titre was seen in 6 (35.3 %) cases after IUT. Enhancement of maternal sensitisation leading to an increase in maternal antibody titre is particularly seen after the first IUT. Matching of the donor RBCs particularly for Rh antigens might prevent the induction of additional alloantibodies against these antigens. IUT as a treatment modality should be given judiciously and only when the need is inevitable.


Intra uterine transfusion Fetomaternal hemorrhage Anti-D Antibody titre 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Haematology & Transfusion Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Transfusion MedicineAll India Institute of Medical SciencesRishikeshIndia
  2. 2.Department of Transfusion MedicineSanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia

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