Sixty-one cases of nonimmunologic hydrops fetalis were studied. The incidence of nonimmunologic hydrops fetalis, 1 in 3748 births, was unchanged in 2 decades. The mortality from nonimmunologic hydrops fetalis remained high (98%). Polyhydramnios (75%), anemia (45%), and preeclampsia (29%) were the commonest prenatal maternal complications, whereas postpartum hemorrhage or difficulty with placental delivery, or both, occurred in 64%. Ultrasound examination always was successful in detecting the hydropic state. Many presumed etiologic factors were noted, although in 38% no possible cause was found. A major congenital anomaly was present in 41% The obstetric and neonatal care of nonimmunologic hydrops fetalis must be improved. If nonimmunologic hydrops fetalis is diagnosed during the investigation of polyhydramnios, consideration should be given to early delivery in the interest of the fetus.
(C) 1982 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists