Foetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia.


Department of Obstetrics, Leiden University Medical Center, K6-35, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, the Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]


Foetal or neonatal thrombocytopenia results from alloimmunisation during pregnancy. Maternal alloantibodies can be formed following exposure to paternally derived human platelet antigens (HPAs) on foetal platelets, in case of incompatible HPA type. These alloantibodies are of the immunoglobulin G subclass and can therefore enter the foetal circulation through active placental transport mediated by the neonatal Fc-receptor. After entering the foetal circulation, these alloantibodies can cause destruction of foetal platelets and potentially damage other foetal cells containing the specific antigen. Subsequent clinical presentation in foetuses or neonates can vary widely, from an asymptomatic thrombocytopenia to a broad spectrum of bleeding complications. Most frequently encountered are minor skin haemorrhages, such as hematomas or petechiae, but also more devastating haemorrhages can occur. Of these, an intracranial haemorrhage is the most feared complication because of its high risk of life-long major neurological handicaps or perinatal death.


FNAIT,Intracranial haemorrhage,Intravenous immunoglobulins,Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia,Neonatal thrombocytopenia,

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