How is ABO incompatibility treated in hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN)?

Updated: Dec 28, 2017
  • Author: Sameer Wagle, MBBS, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Management of hyperbilirubinemia is a major concern in newborns with ABO incompatibility. The criteria for exchange transfusion and phototherapy are similar to those used in Rh alloimmunization. IVIG has also been very effective when administered early in the course. Tin (Sn) porphyrin a potent inhibitor of heme oxygenase, the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the production of bilirubin from heme, has been shown to reduce the production of bilirubin and reduce the need for exchange transfusion and the duration of phototherapy in neonates with ABO incompatibility.

Tin or zinc protoporphyrin or mesoporphyrins have been studied in newborns. They must be administered intramuscularly in a dose based on body weight, and their effectiveness appears to be dose related in all gestations. [74] Their possible toxic effects include skin photosensitization, iron deficiency, and possible inhibition of carbon monoxide production. Their use in Rh hemolytic disease of newborn has not been reported. Their routine use cannot be recommended yet because of lack of long-term safety data.

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