Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein changes as a measure of fetomaternal haemorrhage

Ajayi, G.O ; Adegbola, O ; Oshundiya, O.O. (2005)

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Article

Objective: To evaluate the changes in maternal serum Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) after amniocentesis as a measure of fetomaternal haemorrhage. Subjects and Method: This was a cohort study carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Thirty-two pregnant women with indications for prenatal diagnosis had mid or late trimester amniocentesis under ultrasound guidance after informed written consents were obtained. Maternal serum AFP was assayed before and after amniocentesis to ascertain any fetomaternal haemorrhage. The duration of the study was from April 2003 to January 2004. Results: The mean gestational age at amniocentesis was 29.97 ± 4.4 weeks, the mean maternal serum AFP pre-amniocentesis was 31.51 ± 28.1ng/ml and post-amniocentesis was 37.43± 32.3ng/ml which were within normal limits expected at this gestational age in this environment. There was no statistically significant difference between the pre and post — amniocentesis maternal serum AFP (p = 0. 26573). There was also no significant difference between gestational age at amniocentesis and maternal serum AFP pre .and post amniocentesis (p = 0683394; p = 0.849965 respectively). Conclusion: (i) Maternal serum AFP can conveniently and reliably be used to ascertain and measure fetomaternal haemorrhage following amniocentesis and by extension any form of abnormal trauma in pregnancy especially if recent value is available. (ii) Amniocentesis under ultrasound guidance in skilled hands is safe with very minimal risk of fetomaternal haemorrhage