Direct access to fetal blood by an ultrasonographically guided needle is now feasible and overcomes the limitations of earlier sampling techniques such as placentocentesis, fetoscopy and scalp sampling. Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) of 92 fetuses were performed for a variety of fetal indications: suspected prenatal hematological diseases, rapid chromosomal evaluation, etc. Of these, 50 fetuses (17 to 37 wks gestation) were deemed normal at birth and postnatal evaluation and were evaluated retrospectively for the hematological indices. Values of hemoglobin (HGB), red blood cells (RBC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), white blood cells (WBC) and platelet (Plt) counts were correlated to gestational age (GA). Linear regression equations are listed:
Fetal values indicate a relative neutropenia (WBC: 3.0-6.0 ×103). Values of both WBC and Plt counts (150-250,000) did not change significantly during gestation. These data define an increase in both HGB and RBC and concommitant decrease in MCV with advancing GA. This study describes and demonstrates the normative changes in hematological indices during fetal development prior to the onset of labor and delivery.
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Ludomirski, A., Bhutani, V., Librizzi, R. et al. PRENATAL HEMATOLOGICAL INDICES DURING GESTATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AS DETERMINED BY PERCUTANEOUS UMBILICAL BLOOD SAMPLING. Pediatr Res 21, 217 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-198704010-00308