DOI: 10.1111/trf.17617 ISSN: 0041-1132

Homozygous SPTA1‐associated hereditary pyropoikilocytosis presenting as hydrops fetalis

Rachel Brancamp, Caitlin E. Hughes, Anna Dar, Aleksandra Polic, Lisa C. Zuckerwise, Garrett S. Booth
  • Hematology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy



Hereditary pyropoikilocytosis (HPP) is a heterogeneous inherited disorder of red blood cell (RBC) membrane and cytoskeletal proteins that leads to hemolytic anemia. HPP is characterized by marked poikilocytosis, microspherocytes, RBC fragmentation, and elliptocytes on peripheral blood smear. Mutations in SPTA1 can cause HPP due to a quantitative defect in α‐spectrin and can lead to profound fetal anemia and nonimmune hydrops fetalis, which can be managed with intrauterine transfusion.

Case Presentation

We present a case of a 26‐year‐old G4P2102 woman of Amish‐Mennonite ancestry with a pregnancy complicated by fetal homozygosity for an SPTA1 gene variant (SPTA1c.6154delG) as well as severe fetal anemia and hydrops fetalis, which was managed with four intrauterine transfusions between 26 and 30 weeks gestation. Pre‐transfusion peripheral smears from fetal blood samples showed RBC morphology consistent with HPP. The neonate had severe hyperbilirubinemia at birth, which has resolved, but remains transfusion‐dependent at 6 months of life.


To our knowledge, this is the first report that correlates homozygosity of the SPTA1c.6154delG gene variant with RBC dysmorphology and establishes the diagnosis of HPP.

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