Genetics/Blood Type

David Curtis dcurtis at
Thu Jul 6 04:48:39 EST 1995

swest at wrote:

>My daughter-in-law has AB Pos blood - my son has AB Neg.  She has suffered 
>three near fatal miscarriages and has recently found out she is pregnant.  The 
>Doctor in the town through which she had the last miscarriage told them it 
>could be a genetic chromosone on the "leg" was missing from the 
> X or Y.  Her mother is B neg and her father was O Pos.  I am A Neg and 
>took all the Rhogam shots many years ago.  Could anyone offer some information 
>to this problem?  It would be most appreciated.  Please understand it needs to 
>be in layman's language.  What genetic information from either side would be 
>useful to us?

It's hard to tell from your posting, but the blood group issue may be
irrelevant. If the question is why she has had recurrent miscarriages,
then the doctor may be suggesting that this could be because she or
her husband has some chromosomal rearrangement that causes them no
harm but which means that often the foetus conceived ends up with a
very abnormal set of chromosomes which means that it cannot survive.
If this has been the situation then subsequent pregnancies may be
normal, but there may be a risk of another abnormal foetus and
miscarriage. To diagnose this, a simple first step would be to examine
the chromosomes of the parents (i.e. your son and daughter-in-law). If
one of them does have such an abnormality (for example a "balanced
translocation") then obtain a sample of cells from the foetus or
placenta may then be indicated, to see if the foetus has ended up with
a normal set of chomosomes or not. 

All this is very speculative. The real advice is: discuss the
situation with the obstetrician and if indicated get appropriate
genetic counselling and/or testing from a medical geneticist.

Dave Curtis (dcurtis at
Institute of Psychiatry, London

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