Maternal Red Cell Alloantibody Directed Against a High Incidence Antigen
Prenatal antibody screen performed within the first trimester is an important test that detects maternal red cell alloantibodies. If an antibody is detected, a reflexive antibody titer is performed as a way to help predict the development of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). From a transfusion medicine standpoint, a plan both for potential intrauterine transfusion, and for maternal transfusion at time of delivery, must be considered. On occasion, the mother will possess a rare blood type, such that the red cells in circulation lack a high incidence red cell antigen; she may subsequently develop the antibody via exposure to transfusion or fetal red cells. Antibodies directed against high incidence antigens can be particularly challenging, as the ability to find compatible red cells for either fetus or mother will be difficult.
KeywordsRed cell alloantibody Intrauterine transfusion Autologous donation