Hydrops fetalis

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Hydrops fetalis
Classification and external resources
Ultrasound Scan ND 373.jpg
An ultrasound featuring a baby with Hydrops fetalis
ICD-10 P56, P83.2
ICD-9 773.3, 778.0
DiseasesDB 29715
MedlinePlus 007308
eMedicine ped/1042
MeSH D015160

Hydrops fetalis is a condition in the fetus characterized by an accumulation of fluid, or edema, in at least two fetal compartments.[1] By comparison, hydrops allantois or hydrops amnion are an accumulation of excessive fluid in the allantoic or amniotic space respectively.[2]

Presentation[edit]

Locations can include:

The edema is usually seen in the fetal subcutaneous tissue, sometimes leading to spontaneous abortion. It is a prenatal form of heart failure, in which the heart is unable to satisfy its demand for a high amount of blood flow.

Classification and causes[edit]

Hydrops fetalis usually stems from fetal anemia, when the heart needs to pump a much greater volume of blood to deliver the same amount of oxygen. This anemia can have either an immune or non-immune cause. Non-immune hydrops can also be unrelated to anemia, for example if a tumor or congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation increases the demand for blood flow.[citation needed] The increased demand for cardiac output leads to heart failure, and corresponding edema.

Immune causes[edit]

  • Rh disease is a cause for immune mediated hydrops fetalis; however, owing to preventative methods developed in the 1970s Rh disease has markedly declined. Rh disease can be prevented by administration of anti-D IgG (Rho(D) Immune Globulin) injections to RhD-negative mothers during pregnancy and/or within 72 hours of the delivery. However a small percentage of pregnant mothers are still susceptible to Rh disease even after having been administered anti-D IgG (Rho(D) Immune Globulin)

Non-Immune causes[edit]

The non-immune form of hydrops fetalis has many causes including:

Diagnosis[edit]

Hydrops fetalis can be diagnosed and monitored by ultrasound scans. Prenatal ultrasound scanning enables early recognition of hydrops fetalis and has been enhanced with the introduction of MCA Doppler.

Treatment[edit]

The treatment depends on the cause.

Severely anemic fetuses can be treated with blood transfusions while still in the womb.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]