Should we continue screening rhesus D positive women for the development of atypical antibodies in late pregnancy?
The purpose of this study was to calculate the incidence of the new development of atypical antibodies (other than anti-rhesus D) in women attending for antenatal care, and to assess the clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of a second test to detect these antibodies. A three-year retrospective analysis was undertaken to calculate the number of rhesus positive women who developed new antibodies in the last trimester of pregnancy. Of 13,143 rhesus positive women, 20 (0.15%) developed new antibodies; fetal outcome was not compromised in any of these cases. Repeat testing in late pregnancy would appear an unnecessary expense in our population.