Objective: We aimed to assess the frequency distribution of of ABO haemolytic disease of newborn (ABO-HDN) and to know the predictive value of immunohaematological tests in identifying at risk neonates. Background: ABO incompatibility, although a common cause of haemolytic disease of newborn, has several unaddressed issues related to it. Material and methods: A prospective study over 20 months was carried out in a tertiary care centre in South India. Blood grouping, Direct Antiglobulin test (DAT) and elution studies were performed on neonatal samples, whereas blood grouping, antibody screening and antibody titration were performed on maternal samples. In suspected cases, ABO-HDN was diagnosed after excluding other possible causes for haemolysis. The laboratory results were correlated with the clinical details to assess the predictive value of the tests. Results: Of the total 2856 pregnancies, 34% had ABO incompatibility. On testing with columnagglutination test (CAT), the overall DAT positivity and that among ABO-incompatible cases were 3.8% and 11.2%, respectively,) whereas by conventinal tube technique (CTT) it was 0.6% and 2.4% respectively. CAT was found to have higher sensitivity, and the predictive value was higher for CTT. Maternal IgG titre showed a positive linear relationship with the DAT strength and the rise in indirect bilirubin levels. The positive predictive value of combination of tests such as DAT, elution and titation was 94.12%, which was much higher than that of the individual tests. Conclusion: DAT positivity is a predictor of early rise in serum bilirubin level, and a combination of tests has a better predictive value than individual tests towards development of clinically significant hyperbilirubinemia in ABO-HDN.
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