Hydrops Fetalis

Reference work entry

Hydrops fetalis is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the serous cavities and/or in the soft tissues of the fetus. It is classified as immune if there is an indication of a fetomaternal blood group incompatibility, otherwise classified as nonimmune. The incidence of nonimmune hydrops fetalis is estimated to be approximately 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 3,500 neonates.

Synonyms and Related Disorders

Hydrops fetalis syndrome; Immune hydrops; Nonimmune hydrops

Genetics/Basic Defects

  1. 1.
    Causes of immune hydrops (IH)
    1. a.
      Rh-D disease (approximately 90% of immune hydrops)
      1. i.

        Prior to 1960s, this is the most common cause (up to 80%) of all cases with hydrops fetalis. The incidence of rhesus isoimmunization has declined steadily because of the widespread use of anti-D gamma globulin. The majority of hydrops is now of the nonimmune type (Holzgreve et al. 1985).

      2. ii.

        Mother (Rh−), father (Rh+), and fetus (Rh+)

      3. iii.

        After sensitization, maternal Rh antibody (IgG anti-D) crosses the placenta and...


Gauche Disease Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Noonan Syndrome Maternal Infection Pulmonary Sequestration 
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