OBJECTIVE: The addition of ultrasonography and ultrasonographically directed fetal blood sampling was attempted in an effort to study the fetal effects of red blood cell alloimmunization in a rabbit model. STUDY DESIGN: Nineteen New Zealand does were alloimmunized to incompatible red blood cells. Sensitized does were bred twice, once with a homozygous buck of incompatible blood type and once with a homozygous buck of compatible blood type. Ultrasonographic examinations were performed on days 20 and 27 of gestation (term 28 to 31 days). Fetal blood sampling was undertaken on day 27 of gestation, and hematologic data were compared between compatible and incompatible litters. RESULTS: A total of 41 pregnancies occurred in 19 does. Fetal hemoglobin was higher in the compatible litters (9.7 gm/dl vs 5.8 gm/dl, p < 0.001), whereas no difference could be detected between the respective reticulocyte counts (31.9 vs 36.0 100 red blood cells, p = 0.2). Hydrops fetalis was noted in none of 18 compatible litters versus 12 of 19 incompatible litters (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: A disease analogous to human hemolytic disease of the newborn can be induced in the rabbit fetus.
- animal model
- hemolytic disease of the newborn
- hydrops fetalis
- New Zealand rabbit
- Red blood cell alloimmunization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology