Introduction: In the Kell blood group system, the K and k antigens are the clinically most important ones. Maternal anti-K IgG antibodies can lead to the demise of a K-positive fetus in early pregnancy. Intervention can save the fetus. Prenatal K status prediction of the fetus in early pregnancy is desirable and gives a good basis for pregnancy risk management. We present the results from 7 years of clinical experience in predicting fetal K status as well as some theoretical considerations relevant for design of the assay and evaluation of results.

Methods: Blood was collected from 43 women, all immunized against K, at a mean gestational age of 18 weeks (range 10-38). A total of 56 consecutive samples were tested. The KEL *01.01 /KEL *02 single nucleotide variant that determines K status was amplified from maternal plasma DNA by PCR without allele specificity. The PCR product was sequenced by NGS technology, and the number of sequenced KEL *01.01 and KEL *02 reads were counted. Prediction of the fetal K status was based on this count and was compared with the serologically determined K status of the newborns.

Results: All fetal K predictions were in accordance with postnatal serology where available (n = 34), using our current data analysis.

Conclusion: We have developed an NGS-based method for the non-invasive prediction of fetal K status. This approach requires special considerations in terms of primer design, stringent preanalytical sample handling, and careful analytical procedures. We analyzed samples starting at GA 10 weeks and demonstrated the correct prediction of fetal K status. This assay enables timely clinical intervention in pregnancies at risk of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn caused by maternal anti-K IgG antibodies.

TidsskriftTransfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy (Print Edition)
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)240-249
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2022


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