Positive Outcome in a Pregnancy with Anti-kell Alloimmunization Treated with Intravenous Immunglobulin and Therapeutic Plasma Exchange Despite Persistence of High Titre Antibody: A Case Report

Cinzia Vio

Transfusion and Immunohematology Service, University Hospital, Padua, Italy.

Anna Colpo

Transfusion and Immunohematology Service, University Hospital, Padua, Italy.

Luca Collodel

Transfusion and Immunohematology Service, Dell’ Angelo General Hospital, Mestre, Venice, Italy.

Piero Marson

Transfusion and Immunohematology Service, University Hospital, Padua, Italy and Department of Transfusion Medicine, Padua Prefecture, Italy.

Gianluca Gessoni *

Transfusion and Immunohematology Service, Dell’ Angelo General Hospital, Mestre, Venice, Italy and Department of Transfusion Medicine, Venice Prefecture, Italy.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Few reports have been published about  the current clinical management of anti-Kell alloimmunization in pregnancy; its low frequency of occurrence means that the few long series published have covered an extensive time period in which different treatment approaches have overlapped. The objective of the present paper is to present our experience in the clinical management of a pregnant woman who was positive for the anti-Kell antibody.

Materials and Methods: The laboratory follow-up included the weekly measurement of the antibody titre, and identification of the paternal and fetal genotype. The clinical management included TPE and IVIG administration. Obstetric monitoring included ultrasonographic monitoring of the fetus.

Case Description:  We report a case of anti-Kell alloimmunization with high antibody titre at first observation.  Testing for fetal DNA circulating in maternal blood confirmed positivity for KEL1 gene. The patient underwent fifteen sessions of TPE after  18 weeks of gestational age, followed by weekly IVIG infusion, which continued until 27 weeks of pregnancy. Anti-Kell titres were measured before and after each TPE session.

The patient had no need for IUBT and delivered by cesarean section at 34 weeks of gestational age.  Pregnancy resulted in a live birth with mild HDFN.

Discussion: HDFN is a potentially lethal complication of alloimmunization, and IUBT is the standard treatment for severe fetal anemia. TPE and IVIG are two alternative treatment modalities described in the literature to avoid or postpone the need for IUBT transfusion. In the case reported, despite any substantial change in antibody titre, pregnancy resulted in a live birth. This result suggests that the use of TPE and IVIG in alloimmunization during pregnancy could be an effective treatment strategy.

Keywords: Anti-Kell, hemolytic disease of fetus and newborn, therapeutic plasma exchange, pregnancy

How to Cite

Vio, Cinzia, Anna Colpo, Luca Collodel, Piero Marson, and Gianluca Gessoni. 2024. “Positive Outcome in a Pregnancy With Anti-Kell Alloimmunization Treated With Intravenous Immunglobulin and Therapeutic Plasma Exchange Despite Persistence of High Titre Antibody: A Case Report”. International Blood Research & Reviews 15 (3):1-6. https://doi.org/10.9734/ibrr/2024/v15i3339.


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