Rh Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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It is possible that the main title of the report Rh Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Congenital Anemia of Newborn
  • Erythroblastosis Fetalis
  • Erythroblastosis Neonatorum
  • Hemolytic Anemia of Newborn
  • Hemolytic Disease of Newborn
  • Icterus Gravis Neonatorum
  • Rhesus Incompatibility
  • Rh Factor Incompatibility
  • Rh Incompatibility

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Rh disease or Rh incompatibility (also known as erythroblastosis fetalis) occurs when a woman with Rh-negative blood conceives a child with Rh-positive blood. Red blood cells are destroyed (hemolysis) because of this incompatibility, leading to anemia and other symptoms in the infant. Symptoms vary in severity among affected infants and may include an unusual yellowish coloration of the skin (jaundice); swelling of the chest and abdomen due to the accumulation of fluid (edema); and/or a pale appearance of the skin. In more severe cases, affected infants may have experience life-threatening complications. Rh disease occurs only when a mother's blood is Rh-negative and her baby's blood is Rh-positive.

Supporting Organizations

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
Tel: (301)592-8573
Fax: (301)251-1223
Email: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
Website: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

National Perinatal Association

2000 North Beauregard Street, 6th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Fax: (703)684-5968
Tel: (888)971-3295
Email: npa@nationalperinatal.org
Website: http://www.nationalperinatal.org

National Perinatal Information Center

225 Chapman Street
Suite 200
Providence, RI 2905
Tel: (401)274-0650
Fax: (401)455-0377
Email: web_admin@npic.org
Website: http://www.npic.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  12/31/1969
Copyright  2006 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.