Anti Kell in Pregnancy

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Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  Piglet on Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:44 pm

My youngest daughter is expecting her second child, and has been diagnosed with this rather rare problem. I've done a bit of googling to find some info which I hope explains things (apologies for the length) :

Anti-Kell antibody
A protein made by the immune system that binds to a molecule called the Kell antigen found on red blood cells. The Kell antigen is part of the Kell blood group system which consists of several antigens ( Kell or K1 , Kpa, k , Jsa ,Jsb ). The antibody hastens removal of the Kell antigen (and the foreign blood cells) from the body.
Anti-Kell antibody is capable of crossing the placenta and causing SEVERE anemia in the fetus and hemolytic disease of the newborn.


And this is from a Pregnancy/Childbirth forum, posted by a young mum in the same situation, which explains a little bit more :

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to put this post up for information to other expectant mums because there doesn't appear to be much decent information on the web, either babycentre or elsewhere. Plus if its posted on here then other mums can search on baby centre and hopefully find some more info. I had blood taken at 11wks and was informed that I have anti kell antibodies in my blood which can cause problems for baby. Basically these antibodies can cause anaemia in baby (called Hemolytic disease of the newborn - HDN) and if the levels aren't monitored it can ultimately result in death.
There are 2 ways of mums getting these antibodies, the first one is having a blood transfusion from a person who was kell positive or from having a previous pregnancy/termination where the baby was kell positive. Both chances are very low as only 9% of the population are kell positive! These days they monitor the kell group of blood donors and won't give kell positive blood to ladies under 60.
Once these antibodies have been detected, your partners blood should be taken to determine his blood group. If he is 'carrying' the kell antigen then there is a 50:50 chance that baby will be affected by the kell antibodies in babies blood. If he isn't carrying the kell antigen then baby 'should' be ok.In my case, my husband (as is Julie's partner) is carrying the kell antigen which means my DD must be kell positive hence where my antibodies came from.
Next, the docs have to determine the levels of antibody in my blood. My levels are high 1:256 (if levels are less than 1:32 than baby should be ok). As my levels are high I've been referred to a specialist in John Radcliffe hospital for regular scans and blood tests. Up to 28wks I'll be checked every 4 wks, after that it's every 2 wks. The scan will check to see if baby is developing fluid under the skin or if an artery in the brain is carrying too much blood as both these are signs of anaemia. The blood tests will monitor my levels of anti kell. If my levels start to increase then it could be a sign that baby is starting to become anaemic. They have also taken blood from me to determine blood group of baby, if baby is negative then all should be ok. If baby is positive then they'll continue to monitor. So, I'm now waiting to find out baby's blood group. At the moment all is ok but will find out babies results this week.
If baby starts to become anaemic then they can do a blood transfusion (whilst I'm still carrying baby) from 20 wks and if he starts to become severely affected then they might deliver baby at any point after 28wks.


The baby has the same blood group and antigens as her father (yes, we know it's a little girl), so Julie's blood "attacks" the baby as if it's an intruder and makes her very anaemic. We've already had one blood transfusion (at 22 weeks) and one again last Wednesday (at 24 weeks). The baby's haemoglobin levels are now at 16.4, which is very good, so we don't have to have another one now for 3 weeks, when Julie will be 27 weeks. It's a fascinating process to watch (they use a scan to make sure they're in the right place etc) so you can see the transfused blood going in !! They've been lucky that they've been able to do this via the umbilical cord both times, but may have to transfuse directly into the baby next time.

Consultant is very happy with the baby, she's a good size and weight already, but obviously with each procedure the risks of things going wrong go up - so we are in the lap of the Gods. He is hoping to get her to at least 34 weeks before they have to deliver, but again we just have to take it one procedure at a time.

I know she's in very good hands, but I'm the mum and nanny, so it's my job to worry !!

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Re: Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  Dame Edna on Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:56 pm


So sorry to hear about your girl piggy..I hope all goes well and she has a safe delivery of the baby..Sending good wishes..
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Re: Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  Piglet on Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:16 pm

Thanks Nel ... much appreciated !!
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Re: Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  lizziebear on Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:20 am

i wish your grandaughter a safe journey into this world. xx
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Re: Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  Guest on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:13 am

I wish your daughter and her unborn baby all the best Piglet.

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Re: Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  chelseaz on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:41 am

hi ms p thankyou for taking the time to post this information explaining the situation with your daughter and grand daughter.i know everyone on this forum will be sending their love and support at what must be a difficult waiting time for you.i look foward to sending big congratulations when your new little angel comes to join us on the planet.
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Re: Anti Kell in Pregnancy

Post  Piglet on Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:55 pm

chelseaz wrote:hi ms p thankyou for taking the time to post this information explaining the situation with your daughter and grand daughter.i know everyone on this forum will be sending their love and support at what must be a difficult waiting time for you.i look foward to sending big congratulations when your new little angel comes to join us on the planet.

Ahh thank you Chel ... we are in good hands so I know they will be doing their best for both Julie and little Miss ....
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