The name "mirror syndrome" refers to the similarity between maternal oedema and fetal hydrops. It was first described in 1892 by John William Ballantyne.
The etiology may be any of the variety of obstetric problems that range from immunological disorders, including Rh-isoimmunization, to fetal infections, metabolic disorders, and fetal malformations. Ballantyne syndrome can result from the maternal reaction to a fetus that has hemoglobin Bart's disease due to inherited double thalassemia trait from both parents. 
The etiopathogenetic mechanism of Ballantyne syndrome remains unknown.
Signs and symptoms
Ballantyne syndrome has several characteristics:
Although the exact etiopathogenetic mechanism of Ballantyne syndrome remains unknown, several authors have reported raised uric acid levels, anemia, and low hematocrit without hemolysis.
The problem of distinguishing (or not) between Ballantyne syndrome and preeclampsia is reflected in the diversity of terminology used and in the debate that surrounds the subject. It seems much more likely that an etiology of severe fetal hydrops may cause Ballantyne syndrome when the fetal status greatly worsens and that the syndrome is only a manifestation of the extreme severity of the fetus-placental pathology. Platelet count, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, and haptoglobin are usually unaffected and may be used to distinguish mirror syndrome from HELLP syndrome.
In most cases Ballantyne syndrome causes fetal or neonatal death and in contrast, maternal involvement is limited at the most to preeclampsia.
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