Neonatal nucleated red blood cells in G6PD deficiency

Mark Yeruchimovich, Boris Shapira, Francis B. Mimouni, Shaul Dollberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to study the absolute number of nucleated red blood cells (RBC) at birth, an index of active fetal erythropoiesis, in infants with G6PD deficiency and in controls. We tested the hypothesis that hematocrit and hemoglobin would be lower, and absolute nucleated RBC counts higher, in the G6PD deficient and that these changes would be more prominent in infants exposed passively to fava bean through maternal diet. Thirty-two term infants with G6PD deficiency were compared with 30 term controls. Complete blood counts with manual differential counts were obtained within 12 hours of life. Absolute nucleated RBC and corrected leukocyte counts were computed from the Coulter results and the differential count. G6PD deficient patients did not differ from controls in terms of gestational age, birth weight, or Apgar scores or in any of the hematologic parameters studied, whether or not the mother reported fava beans consumption in the days prior to delivery. Although intrauterine hemolysis is possible in G6PD deficient fetuses exposed passively to fava beans, our study supports that such events must be very rare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Fava beans
  • Fetal hemolysis
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency


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