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.
Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.