Rhesus Disease

  • Isabel Stabile
  • Tim Chard
  • Gedis Grudzinskas


The sensitisation of a rhesus-negative mother to rhesus-positive blood occurs in 10% of deliveries (affecting 0.5% of their infants), 1–2% of first pregnancies (secondary to previous transfusion, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, external cephalic version or bleeding), 3–4% of spontaneous miscarriages, and 5–6% of induced abortions. Maternal immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies cross the placenta, destroying fetal red cells by haemolysis, producing fetal anemia and stimulating bone marrow production at extramedullary sites, primarily liver and spleen. The term erythroblastosis is derived from the presence of nucleated red cell elements in the fetal circulation.


Fetal Circulation Fetal Haemoglobin External Cephalic Version Clinical Obstetric Chorionic Villus Sampling 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Stabile
    • 1
  • Tim Chard
    • 2
  • Gedis Grudzinskas
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Prevention and Early Intervention PolicyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Reproductive Physiology Laboratory, Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologySt Bartholomew’s HospitalLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 4th Floor, Holland WingThe Royal London HospitalLondonUK

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