Antenatal Screening for HPA-la by Flow Cytometry


7 Institute of Haematology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown 2050, New South Wales, Australia.


Summary: regnant women who attended antenatal clinics at King George V Hospital, the Birth Centre or were referred by obstetricians from February to July. 1996 were screened for the platelet antigen HPA-la by flow cytometry. Forty out of 2300 (1.7%) were found to be negative for this antigen. Of the 28 women followed throughout their pregnancy, none developed antibody to HPA-la. Platelet counts performed on samples from 17 babies born to 17 of these mothers were all normal. This study proves the simplicity and rapidity of flow cytometry for platelet antigen screening. The results were comparable with the Solid Phase Red Cell Adherence (SPRCA) method and with PCR. The lack of a plentiful supply of specific antibody and the rarity of fetomaternai alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FMAIT) argue against the introduction of routine screening for maternal HPA-la status at the present time.