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Minerva Pediatrica 2010 June;62(3):323-7


language: English

Benign transient blueberry muffin baby

Bagna R., Bertino E., Rovelli I., Peila C., Giuliani F., Occhi L., Mensa M., Mazzone R., Saracco P., Fabris C.

1 Neonatology, Department of Pediatics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Maternofetal Unit, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 3 Hematology Laboratory, Department of Diagnostics, S. Anna Hospital, Turin, Italy; 4 Division of Pediatric Hematology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


In this case-report a case of severe fetal anemia of unknown origin is presented. Diagnosis of fetal anemia was made at 24 weeks of gestational age, when fetal ascites was identified. Doppler sonography of medium cerebral artery showed a high systolic speed velocity (ACM-PSV), of 65 cm/s (>1.55 MoM). This value predicts a severe fetal anemia. Funicolocentesis confirmed hyporegenerative anemia, low reticulocytosis and low erythroblastosis. A fetal transfusion was performed. At birth anemia was still present and the baby presented blueberry muffin and liver erythropoietic foci. The blueberry muffin morphology presents as non-blanching, blue-red macules or firm, dome-shaped papules (2-8 mm in diameter). The eruption is often generalized but favors the trunk, head, and neck. Infectious (Toxoplasmosis, Cytomegalovirus, Rubella, Herpes, Parvo, Coxackievirus, Ebstein Barr, Syphilis), hematologic (sferocytosis, alloimmunization, foeto-maternal transfusion), metabolic, neoplastic (congenital leukemia, neuroblastome, congenital rhabdomyosarcome) and systemic (histio-cytosis, lupus) pathologies indicated until now as possible disease causes were excluded. In the first day of life the neonate received a RBC transfusion for anemia (Hb=5.1 g/dL; Hct 15,7% at birth), followed within 48-72 hours by rapid disappearance of the rash, that wasn’t then histologically examined. During two weeks of hospitalization reticulocytes raised spontaneously from 0.8% to 3.17%. Until two years of age the auxologic and clinical course was regular and the child is now in good health conditions. Due to the absence of systematic disease and the complete regression, no exact diagnosis and prognosis could be established in this case.

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