Fetal blood sampling during pregnancy with use of a needle guided by ultrasound: a study of 606 consecutive cases

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Nov 15;153(6):655-60. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(85)80254-4.


Because of various prenatal diagnoses, 606 fetal blood samplings were carried out in 562 pregnancies from the gestational week 17 to 38 with use of a 20-gauge needle guided by ultrasound. The procedure was performed on outpatients under local anesthesia and without medication before or after the procedure. Pure fetal blood was obtained at the first attempt in 588 cases. A second attempt was necessary in 18 cases. Maternal blood contamination was never present. Amniotic fluid dilution was noted in 15 cases. At the beginning of our experience only three cords could not be punctured. The duration of the procedure was less than 10 minutes in 90% of cases. Fifty-eight pregnancies were terminated after consideration of the results of the diagnosis, and 504 pregnancies were continued. The complications found in these pregnancies were premature delivery (5%), growth retardation (8%), in utero death (1.1%), and spontaneous abortion (0.8%). In the future this new procedure could replace fetoscopy and initiate an important field of new investigations.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood*
  • Humans
  • Needles
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Risk
  • Ultrasonography