Erythroblastosis Fetalis - Glossary

Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Last Updated on Jun 01, 2017
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Glossary

Bilirubin: It is a brownish yellow pigment of bile, secreted by the liver in vertebrates, which gives feces its characteristic color. It is produced in bone marrow cells and in the liver as the end product of hemoglobin breakdown.

Coombs Test: The Coombs test, also called antiglobulin test (AGT), involves two blood tests – the direct Coombs test and the indirect Coombs test. The direct Coombs test is used for testing autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which exhibits low RBC counts as a result of immune-mediated lysis of RBC membrane leading to their destruction. The indirect Coombs test is used for prenatal testing of pregnant women and for testing blood before transfusion. This test detects antibodies against RBCs that remain unbound in the patient’s serum.

Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg attaches to a place other than inside the uterus. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube.

Fetal Middle Cerebral Artery Blood Flow: This is a non-invasive technique that measures the velocity of blood flow through the middle cerebral artery of the fetal brain. It uses Doppler ultrasonography to assess fetal cardiovascular distress, fetal anemia, and fetal hypoxia. It is usually used as an adjunct to umbilical artery Doppler assessment.

Neutropenia: An abnormally low count of a type of white blood cell (neutrophils).

RhoGAM: This is also known as Rho (D) immunoglobulin, and is a sterile solution made from human blood plasma that is given to Rh¯ women in the form of an injection. Rh is a protein most people have in their blood, on the surface of RBCs.

Rosette Test: This test is performed on postpartum maternal blood to estimate the volume of fetal-maternal hemorrhage (FMH) in case of an Rh¯ mother and an Rh+ child. This estimate, in turn, also estimates the required amount of Rho (D) immunoglobulin to administer. If the rosette test is positive, follow-up testing is done to quantitate the FMH, e.g, a Kleihauer-Betke acid elution test or flow cytometry. 

Thrombocytopenia: A disorder in which there is a relative decrease of thrombocytes, commonly known as platelets, present in the blood.

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