Simple non-invasive prenatal detection of Hb Bart's disease by analysis of fetal erythrocytes in maternal blood

Prenat Diagn. 2005 Feb;25(2):123-8. doi: 10.1002/pd.1096.


Objective: To investigate a simple non-invasive technique for early detection of Hemoglobin (Hb) Bart's disease.

Method: Maternal blood smears from 8 known Hb Bart's pregnancies and 40 at-risk pregnancies were investigated. Maternal peripheral blood smears were stained with fluorescence-labeled monoclonal antibodies against alpha- and embryonic zeta-globin chains.

Results: Fetal nonnucleated red blood cells, stained with anti-zeta but not with anti-alpha globin antibodies were found in 15 out of 16 affected pregnancies but were not detected in 23 out of 24 unaffected pregnancies.

Conclusion: Results showed that non-invasive immunofluorescence staining of maternal blood is a feasible approach for screening Hb Bart's disease before ultrasound manifestation in affected pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry
  • Globins / analysis*
  • Globins / immunology
  • Hemoglobins, Abnormal / analysis
  • Hemoglobins, Abnormal / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis / blood
  • Hydrops Fetalis / diagnosis*
  • Hydrops Fetalis / epidemiology*
  • Hydrops Fetalis / etiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Hemoglobins, Abnormal
  • Globins
  • hemoglobin Bart's