Hydrops fetalis is blood condition in the fetus characterized by an edema in the fetal subcutaneous tissue, sometimes leading to spontaneous abortion. more...
Classification and Causes
Hydrops fetalis is presented in two forms: immune or non-immune. Cases of immune hydrops fetalis are relatively rare today, due to treatments developed in the 1970s.
The non-immune form of hydrops fetalis can be caused by any number of disorders. One notable cause is a deficiency of the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. This enzyme deficiency is the cause of the lysosomal storage disease Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII. Another cause is Parvovirus B19 infection of the pregnant woman.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Hydrops fetalis can be diagnosed by ultrasound scans and treated by blood transfusions to the fetus while still in the womb. Prevention of maternal alloimmunization to fetal red cell antigens is achived by administration of anti-D IgG antiserum to D-negative mothers during the delivery.
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