• Vol. 35 No. 10, 726–728
  • 15 October 2006

Recurrent Non-immune Fetal Hydrops: A Case Report



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Introduction: Recurrent non-immune fetal hydrops (NIH) has been reported in the literature but is a rare entity, with fewer than 6 reported cases so far. It has been postulated to be related to a recessive gene.

Clinical Picture: We report a case of recurrent fetal hydrops in a multigravida with no medical history of note. She presented in her current pregnancy with a significant history of having 4 (out of 7) previous pregnancies affected by hydrops.

Treatment: All the affected pregnancies resulted in mid-trimester pregnancy termination (MTPT) following diagnosis in the second trimester. Previous investigations for hydrops did not yield any obvious cause.

Outcome: Her most recent pregnancy was unaffected. We discuss the possible differential diagnoses and the likelihood of autosomal recessive metabolic diseases being the aetiological factor.

Conclusion: Rare causes of fetal hydrops need to be excluded in cases of recurrent non-immune hydrops with no obvious aetiology following routine investigations.

The incidence of non-immune hydrops (NIH) has been reported to be 1/10001 and is associated with high perinatal morbidity and mortality at all gestational ages with an overall perinatal mortality rate (PNMR) of 86.6%. If the diagnosis is made before 24 weeks’ gestation, the PNMR is 95%, with 30% having an abnormal karyotype.

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