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Keywords:

  • fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia;
  • immunoglobulin;
  • intrauterine platelet transfusion;
  • intracranial haemorrhage;
  • fetal blood sampling;
  • anti-Zwa

SUMMARY. In fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FAIT) the fetus is threatened by intracranial haemorrhage (ICH); therefore early diagnostic and therapeutic intervention is required. We followed the clinical course of a 30-year-old woman during her fifth pregnancy after she had given birth to a child with alloimmune thrombocytopenia due to anti-Zwa. The fetus was monitored by 13 fetal blood samplings (FBS) always followed by transfusion of either maternal or compatible donor platelets. Intravenous immunoglobulin (ivIg) treatment of the mother was begun at 20 weeks of gestation when the fetal platelet count was 36 times 109/1. The fetal platelets were typed Zwa positive by DNA analysis. Despite 11 weeks of maternal ivIg treatment fetal platelet counts progressively declined to 6 times 10/1 and ICH occurred. Subsequently, the fetus was successfully managed by intrauterine platelet transfusions at shorter intervals (3–5 days) and elective Cesarean section was carried out at 35 weeks of gestation. We conclude that maternal ivIg treatment does not prevent ICH in FAIT. The treatment of choice for severely affected cases is serial FBS combined with transfusion of compatible platelets.