Hydrops fetalis

Key Information

Appropriate Tests

 

Fetal hydrops may result from many disease processes. A detailed autopsy is required to define the cause and may include diagnostic imaging; Virus detection, culture; bacterial culture; Direct antiglobulin test; Cytogenetics - prenatal and fetal and Molecular genetics.

Chromosomal abnormalities, especially

 

  • Turner syndrome

 

  • Down syndrome

 

Severe fetal anaemia, especially

 

  • Haemolytic disease of the newborn

A complication of severe Rhesus haemolytic disease (Rh erythroblastosis) that is, fetal haemolysis due to maternal anti-D; now rarely seen.

  • Haemoglobin Barts hydrops fetalis syndrome

A lethal form of alpha thalassaemia, mainly seen in SE Asians.

Full blood count, Haemoglobin electrophoresis, Molecular genetics - genetic disorders on fetus.

Full blood count, Haemoglobin electrophoresis, Molecular genetics - genetic disorders on both parents.

See Thalassaemia.

Feto-maternal haemorrhage

Full blood count (fetus), Haemoglobin F, Kleihauer test on mother.

Fetal infections, especially

See Congenital infection.

  • Cytomegalovirus infection

 

  • Parvovirus B19 infection

 

Cardiac malformation