Dr Peter Whitington and Susan Kelly have just had their latest research published in Pediatrics. I’ve summarised the key points from the abstract below, and if your lucky this link may take you to a pdf version of the complete article.
Whitington P & Kelly S, 2008, “Outcome of Pregnancies at Risk for Neonatal Hemochromatosis Is Improved by Treatment With High-Dose Intravenous Immunoglobulin”, Pediatrics published online May 12, 2008; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-3107
In summary the article builds upon his earlier work (see my posts here, here and here) . The number of women involved in his study has increase to 48 (including Mary!) treated over 53 pregnancies. The histories of the women demonstrated the high risk of occurrence of neonatal hemochromatosis: 92% of pregnancies ended badly, or in the papers words “resulted in intrauterine fetal demise, neonatal death, or liver failure necessitating transplant”. “In contrast, with gestational therapy, the 53 at-risk gestations resulted in 3 failures and 52 infants who survived intact with medical therapy alone. When compared on a per-woman or per-infant basis, the outcome of gestation at risk for neonatal hemochromatosis was improved by gestational therapy. ”
The paper concludes that neonatal hemochromatosis seems to be the result of a gestational alloimmune disease, and occurrence of severe neonatal hemochromatosis in at-risk pregnancies can be significantly reduced by treatment with high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin during gestation.