Hydrops fetalis

Last updated: Monday, 13, December, 2010
Key InformationAppropriate 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 and molecular genetics.

Chromosomal abnormalities, especially

  • Turner syndrome
  • Down syndrome

Severe fetal anaemia, especially

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.

FBC, haemoglobin electrophoresis, molecular genetics - individual genetic disorders on fetus.

FBC, haemoglobin electrophoresis; haemoglobin H inclusions, molecular genetics on both parents.

See Thalassaemia

Feto-maternal haemorrhage

FBC (fetus); haemoglobin F - Kleihauer test on mother.

Fetal infections, especially

See Congenital infection

Cardiac malformation