Hematologic disorders and nonimmune hydrops fetalis

Semin Perinatol. 1995 Dec;19(6):502-15. doi: 10.1016/s0146-0005(05)80057-6.


Hematologic disorders are implicated in approximately 10% to 27% of cases of nonimmune hydrops fetalis. In almost all of these disorders, anemia leading to heart failure, edema, ascites, and anasarca is the final common denominator. The etiology of the anemia in these cases can be conveniently divided into two categories: (1) excessive erythrocyte loss by hemolysis or hemorrhage, and (2) erythrocyte underproduction. The former include intrinsic erythrocyte abnormalities such as alpha-thalassemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and conditions with excessive fetal blood loss such as fetomaternal hemorrhage and twin-twin transfusion. The latter include bone marrow replacement syndromes and conditions associated with failure of erythrocyte production. The presentation, diagnosis, and management of hematologic disorders associated with nonimmune hydrops fetalis are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythrocytes, Abnormal
  • Female
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications*
  • Hematologic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Hematologic Diseases / therapy
  • Hemolysis
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis / blood
  • Hydrops Fetalis / etiology*
  • Male
  • Pedigree