Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein--a marker of fetal aplastic crisis during intrauterine human parvovirus infection

Lancet. 1987 Feb 21;1(8530):433-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(87)90129-2.


In 2 cases of hydrops fetalis and intrauterine death associated with human parvovirus B19 infection that produced very few symptoms during the second trimester of pregnancy, maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein levels were raised, before the ultrasonic detection of hydropic features. Fetal blood sampling in 1 case revealed the features of aplastic crisis. A retrospective study of 3 other affected and 11 unaffected cases of B19 infection during pregnancy showed a correlation between raised maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein level and poor prognosis for the affected pregnancies, with the subsequent development of hydrops fetalis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Edema / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Death / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parvoviridae Infections / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / analysis*


  • alpha-Fetoproteins