Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Incidence of rhesus immunisation after genetic amniocentesis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 30 August 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:533
  1. A Tabor,
  2. D Jerne,
  3. J E Bock


    Of 655 Rh negative women without anti-D antibody in their serum at genetic amniocentesis, 361 delivered a Rh positive infant. Prophylactic treatment with anti-D immunoglobulin was not given at amniocentesis. The women were followed prospectively, being given a screening test for antibody after amniocentesis, at delivery, and six months later. Five of these 361 women yielded a positive test result due to anti-D antibody. The immunisation rate after genetic amniocentesis was no higher than the spontaneous immunisation rate during pregnancy. Four women who had two amniocenteses in the same pregnancy and 34 women who had amniocentesis in two consecutive pregnancies with Rh positive fetuses were not immunised. Among six women with anti-D antibody in their serum before amniocentesis the titre of antibody increased in three. Amniocentesis may have worsened the outcome of these pregnancies. These results suggest that the risk of immunisation in Rh negative women is small.