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July-September 2017 | Vol. 10 | Issue 3 | Page No 10-18
Non-immune Fetal Hydrops: An Update
Gayatri N1, Ashwani Tandon2 and Prajnya Ranganath1
1Department of Medical Genetics, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad 2Department of Pathology, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad
Address for Correspondence Email: prajnyaranganath@gmail.com
‘Hydrops fetalis’ is a Greek term which refers to the pathological accumulation of fluid in fetal soft tissues and serous cavities. Non-immune fetal hydrops (NIFH) is defined as fluid accumulation in at least 2 fetal body compartments in the absence of red cell isoimmunisation (Moise, 2008). Abnormal fluid collection may be ascites, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion or generalised skin edema (skin thickness >5mm) (Figure 1). Other frequent sonographic findings associated with fetal hydrops include placental thickening and polyhydramnios. The placental thickness (in mm) is normally equal to the gestational age (in weeks) +/- 10 mm; if the placental thickness exceeds this range, it is considered as increased placental thickening (Moise, 2008). With the widespread use of routine antiD prophylaxis in Rh-negative mothers, prevalence of RhD alloimmunisation and associated hydrops has dramatically decreased and especially in developed countries, NIFH now accounts for almost 90% of cases of hydrops fetalis. The progressive fall in the incidence of immunologic hydrops fetalis has fostered growing interest in non-immune fetal hydrops. The world-wide prevalence of NIFH is estimated to range from 1 in 1500 to 1 in 3800 births (Bellini et al., 2015).
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