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Journal Club: Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Clinical Guideline #8: The fetus at risk for anemia-diagnosis and management

Journal Club: Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Clinical Guideline #8: The fetus at risk for anemia-diagnosis and management

Citation: Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM); Giancarlo Mari, MD; Mary E. Norton, MD; Joanne Stone, MD; Vincenzo Berghella, MD; Anthony C. Sciscione, DO; Danielle Tate, MD; Mauro H. Schenone, MD. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015; 212(6):697-710

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2015.01.059

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We sought to provide evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and management of fetal anemia.
METHODS: A systematic literature review was performed using MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. The search was restricted to English-language articles published from 1966 through May 2014. Priority was given to articles reporting original research, in particular randomized controlled trials, although review articles and commentaries were consulted. Abstracts of research presented at symposia and scientific conferences were not considered adequate for inclusion. Evidence reports and published guidelines were also reviewed, and additional studies were located by reviewing bibliographies of identified articles. GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) methodology was used for defining the strength of recommendations and rating the quality of evidence. Consistent with US Preventive Task Force guidelines, references were evaluated for quality based on the highest level of evidence.
RESULTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: We recommend the following: (1) middle cerebral artery peak systolic velocity (MCA-PSV) measured by ultrasound Doppler interrogation be used as the primary technique to detect fetal anemia; (2) amniotic fluid delta OD450 not be used to diagnosis fetal anemia; (3) MCA-PSV assessment be reserved for those patients who are at risk of having an anemic fetus (proper technique for MCA-PSV evaluation includes assessment of the middle cerebral artery close to its origin, ideally at a zero degree angle without angle correction); (4) if a fetus is deemed at significant risk for severe fetal anemia (MCA greater than 1.5 multiples of the median or hydropic), fetal blood sampling be performed with preparation for an intrauterine transfusion, unless the pregnancy is at a gestational age when the risks associated with delivery are considered to be less than those associated with the procedure; (5) if a fetus is deemed at significant risk for severe fetal anemia, the patient be referred to a center with expertise in invasive fetal therapy; (6) MCA-PSV be considered to determine the timing of a second transfusion in fetuses with anemia, and, alternatively, a predicted decline in fetal hemoglobin may be used for timing the second procedure; and (7) pregnancies with a fetus at significant risk for fetal anemia be delivered at 37-38 weeks of gestation unless indications develop prior to this time.

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