Successful Management of Severe Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus Due to anti-Jsb Using Intrauterine Transfusions With Serial Maternal Blood Donations: A Case Report and a Review of the Literature

Transfusion. 2014 Jan;54(1):238-43. doi: 10.1111/trf.12331. Epub 2013 Jul 5.


Background: The management of pregnant women with anti-Jsb is challenging due to the paucity of antigen-negative blood for fetal and neonatal transfusion.

Case report: A 29-year-old woman with anti-Jsb was referred for assessment of recurrent fetal losses. With the presence of the sister as a historically matched donor, she was planned for active surveillance for fetal anemia during pregnancy.

Study design and methods: The fetus remained well until 21 weeks of gestation when signs of fetal anemia and early hydrops fetalis were noted. Anti-Jsb titer was at 128. The sister's red blood cells (RBCs) were cross-match incompatible. Urgent intrauterine transfusion (IUT) was performed with washed irradiated maternal RBCs, donated after cessation of heparin. The mother was given intravenous iron (IV-Fe) and continued on weekly recombinant human erythropoietin (rHu-EPO).

Results: Repeated IUTs were needed every 1 to 3 weeks. Throughout a 7-week period, three maternal donations were performed with total donated whole blood volume of 1250 mL, supporting four IUTs. At 29 weeks of gestation, the procedure was complicated by umbilical cord hematoma necessitating urgent cesarean section. A male newborn was delivered, transfused at birth, and subsequently treated with phototherapy and five top-up transfusions.

Conclusion: This case represents a successful example of managing hemolytic disease of the fetus due to a rare antibody using maternal blood. It also supports previous data on safety of maternal donations during pregnancy and the use of combination of rHu-EPO and IV-Fe as a supportive measure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Donors
  • Blood Transfusion, Intrauterine / methods*
  • Erythroblastosis, Fetal / etiology
  • Erythroblastosis, Fetal / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Isoantibodies / adverse effects*
  • Isoantibodies / blood
  • Kell Blood-Group System / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Isoantibodies
  • Kell Blood-Group System