Human Parvovirus B19 Infection Associated with Hydrops Fetalis


6 Senior House Officer, Gynaecology Unit, Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, Glasgow, G75 8RG, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Summary: Human parvovirus B19 infection has been associated with fetal anaemia, hydrops and in some cases fetal demise. We report our experience with nonimmune hydrops fetalis due to human parvovirus B19 infection in 17 pregnancies which were identified sonographically over a period of 10 years. The only baby who survived received repeated intrauterine transfusions and was normal neurodevelopmentally at 2 years follow-up. Two other fetuses who also received intrauterine transfusion did not survive. All pregnancies complicated with nonimmune hydrops should be investigated by fetal blood sampling looking for the evidence of parvovirus infection. Intrauterine transfusion should be reserved for hydropic fetuses with a low haematocrit. A greater understanding of the natural history of human parvovirus infection is needed prior to deciding the optimum mode of therapy.