Neonatal outcomes after percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling

Ann M. Bruno, Joshua I. Rosenbloom, Candice Woolfolk, Shayna N. Conner, Methodius G. Tuuli, George A. Macones, Alison G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: While percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling (PUBS) and intrauterine transfusion (IUT) are the standards of care for the management of significant fetal anemia, the neonatal complications resultant from these procedures remain poorly understood. Thus, we aimed to compare neonatal outcomes of the patients undergoing percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling (PUBS) for intrauterine transfusion (IUT) to gestational age- and sex-matched controls with no indication for and not undergoing PUBS. Methods: This was a retrospective matched cohort study at a single institution from 2000 to 2017. Clinical and demographic data were abstracted from the medical record of patients undergoing PUBS. Neonatal outcomes from pregnancies undergoing PUBS for suspected fetal anemia and from randomly selected gestational age- and sex-matched controls were collected. Neonatal outcomes were compared using matched pairs analysis. Results: There were 64 patients who underwent a total of 178 PUBS with 157 IUT. The most common etiology of fetal anemia was anti-D alloimmunization. On an average, patients undergoing PUBS underwent two procedures (IQR 1,4). There were available neonatal outcomes in 40 patients. The median gestational age at delivery was 34 weeks in both neonates who underwent PUBS and controls. In matched pairs analysis, neonates who underwent PUBS were at higher risk for neonatal complications compared to control neonates (92.5 vs. 55%, OR 4.5, 95% CI 4.5, ∞). Specifically, neonates who underwent PUBS were more likely to experience respiratory complications compared to controls despite a higher uptake of antenatal corticosteroids. Conclusions: We found that neonates who underwent PUBS experience a higher occurrence of complications which does not appear to be secondary to prematurity alone. Despite higher uptake of antenatal corticosteroids in neonates who underwent PUBS as compared to control neonates, neonates who underwent PUBS had a higher risk of respiratory complications. This study can help to inform patients undergoing PUBS/IUT on the anticipated neonatal outcomes and anticipate needed neonatology resources. While PUBS/IUT is the best treatment known to date for management of fetal anemia, our study highlights the need for further research into the subsequent neonatal complications and how to prevent them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3984-3989
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Fetal anemia
  • fetal hydrops
  • intrauterine transfusion (IUT)
  • neonatal outcomes
  • percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS)
  • perinatal outcome
  • red cell alloimmunization

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