Rhesus haemolytic disease of the newborn: Postnatal management, associated morbidity and long-term outcome

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2008 Aug;13(4):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2008.02.005. Epub 2008 Apr 2.


Rhesus haemolytic disease of the newborn can lead to complications such as hyperbilirubinaemia, kernicterus and anaemia. Postnatal management consists mainly of intensive phototherapy, exchange transfusion and blood transfusion. During the last decades, significant progress in prenatal care strategies for patients with Rhesus haemolytic disease has occurred. New prenatal management options have led to a remarkable reduction in perinatal mortality. As a result of the increase in perinatal survival, attention is now shifting towards short-term and long-term morbidity. This review focuses on the management of neonatal and paediatric complications associated with Rhesus haemolytic disease, discusses postnatal treatment options and summarizes the results of studies on short-term and long-term outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / therapeutic use
  • Anemia, Neonatal / complications
  • Anemia, Neonatal / therapy
  • Cholestasis / complications
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / etiology
  • Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal / therapy
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kernicterus / etiology
  • Kernicterus / prevention & control
  • Metalloporphyrins / therapeutic use
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use
  • Phototherapy
  • Rh Isoimmunization / complications*
  • Rh Isoimmunization / therapy*
  • Thrombocytopenia / complications


  • Albumins
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Metalloporphyrins
  • Phenobarbital