When any fetal blood group factor inherited from the father is not possessed by the mother, antepartum or intrapartum fetal-maternal bleeding may stimulate an immune reaction in the mother. Maternal immune reactions also can occur from blood product transfusion. The formation of maternal antibodies, or "alloimmunization," may lead to various degrees of transplacental passage of these antibodies into the fetal circulation. Depending on the degree of antigenicity and the amount and type of antibodies involved, this transplacental passage may lead to hemolytic disease in the fetus and neonate. Undiagnosed and untreated, alloimmunization can lead to significant perinatal morbidity and mortality. Advances in Doppler ultrasonography have led to the development of noninvasive methods of management of alloimmunization in pregnant women. Together with more established protocols, Doppler ultrasound evaluation may allow for a more thorough and less invasive workup with fewer risks to the mother and fetus. Prevention of alloimmunization is addressed in another Practice Bulletin ().
July 2018 - Volume 132 - Issue 1 - p e18–e34
July 2018 - Volume 132 - Issue 1 - p 243–248