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Hydrops fetalis is a serious condition in which abnormal amounts of fluid build up in two or more body areas of a fetus or newborn.
See also: Erythroblastosis fetalis
There are two types of hydrops fetalis: Immune and nonimmune. The exact cause depends on which form a baby has.
The number of babies who develop immune hydrops fetalis has dramatically decreased since the introduction of the medicine RhoGAM, which is used to treat pregnant mothers at risk for Rh incompatibility.
Abrams ME, Meredith KS, Kinnard P, Clark RH. Hydrops fetalis: a retrospective review of cases reported to a large national database and identification of risk factors associated with death. Pediatrics. 2007 Jul;120(1):84-9.
Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 7th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2005.
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