Management of non-immune hydrops: 8 Years' experience

C. Anandakumar, A. Biswas, Y. C. Wong, D. China, V. Annapoorna, S. Arulkumaran, S. Ratnam

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37 Citations (Scopus)


During a period of 8 years (1985-92), 100 fetuses were diagnosed to have non-immune hydrops on the basis of ultrasonographic findings and absence of rhesus isoimmunization. Both the mother and the fetus were thoroughly evaluated by a set protocol that included a detailed fetal abnormality scan with echocardiography and fetal blood sampling. A cause for non-immune hydrops could be identified in 81% of the fetuses. Cardiovascular abnormalities (23%) and α1-thalassemia (22%) were almost equally common etiological factors in the South-East Asian population under investigation. A chromosomal abnormality was detected in 10% of the fetuses with non-immune hydrops. Twenty-six fetuses were found to be suitable for in utero therapy. In utero therapy included one or more of the following: (1) fetal intravascular blood transfusion; (2) direct fetal drug therapy; and (3) fetal pleuroamniotic shunting. Eighteen of the 26 babies (69.2%) were alive and well at 1 month after delivery. It is concluded that in well-selected cases appropriate in utero fetal therapy can lead to significant improvement in fetal salvage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996


  • Fetal blood sampling
  • Fetal therapy
  • In utero therapy
  • Non-immune hydrops
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Ultrasonography


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