Objective: To assess the relationship between the subtypes of hypertension in pregnancy and subsequent neonatal haematology.
Methodology: Retrospective review of the haematology of newborns of hypertensive mothers at a tertiary neonatal unit.
Results: Over a 2 year period, 249 infants had full blood examinations. Nineteen (7.6%) were neutropenic and 35 (14.1%) thrombocytopenic, including 11 (4.4%) who were both neutropenic and thrombocytopenic. Neutropenia occurred only in infants whose mothers had severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia or pre-eclampsia with pre-existing hypertension, whereas thrombocytopenia complicated all maternal hypertension subtypes. Two (10%) of the neutropenic infants developed nosocomial infection while seven (20%) of the thrombocytopenic infants bled. Thirteen (68%) of the neutropenic infants compared with 15 (43%) of the thrombocytopenic infants developed their haematological abnormality within 24 h of birth. All but two infants developed the haematological abnormality by the 5th day of life.
Conclusion: Although haematological abnormalities in infants born to hypertensive mothers are uncommon, serious neonatal complications can occur and therefore early haematological screening of these infants is recommended.