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Program Reduces Risk of Neonatal Thrombocytopenia

Screening and intervention program for maternal antibodies against HPA 1a

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A screening and intervention program for pregnant women who lack human platelet antigen 1a (HPA 1a) but have antibodies against the protein can reduce the risk of the infant having severe neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT), according to study findings published in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

Jens Kjeldsen-Kragh, M.D., from Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, and colleagues screened 100,448 pregnant women for HPA 1a and antibodies against the protein. Women who lacked the protein but had antibodies against it underwent delivery by Caesarean section at two to four weeks before term, with platelets from HPA 1a-negative donors available for transfusion if necessary.

The researchers treated 170 pregnancies, producing 161 HPA 1a-positive children. Of these, 55 had severe thrombocytopenia, including two with intracranial hemorrhage.

"Acknowledging the limitation of comparing with historic controls, implementation of our screening and intervention program seemed to reduce the number of cases of severe NAIT-related complications from 10 of 51 to three of 57," Kjeldsen-Kragh and colleagues conclude.

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