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Ballantyne Syndrome: A Case Report

Paternoster D.M.a · Manganelli F.a · Minucci D.a · Nanhornguè K.N.a · Memmo A.a · Bertoldini M.a · Nicolini U.b
aDepartment of Gynaecology and Pathophysiology of Human Reproduction, Padua, and bObstetric Department, University of Milan, Milan, Italy Fetal Diagn Ther 2006;21:92–95 (DOI:10.1159/000089056)


Ballantyne syndrome (also called mirror syndrome or triple edema) describes the unusual association of fetal and placental hydrops with maternal preeclampsia. This is a case report illustrating a 37-year-old patient who was referred to our clinics at 28 weeks of gestation (wg) because of fetal hydrothorax. On examination, the woman did not show signs of preeclampsia. The fetal ultrasound examination revealed bulky hydrothorax, generalized subcutaneous edema, placental edema, and polyhydramnios. It was not possible to find the cause of the fetal hydrops. At 29 weeks and 4 days of gestation, the fetal hydrothorax was removed by two pleuro-amniotic shunts, but at the moment of our intervention anasarca was already present. In the following 3 days, despite observing bed rest, the mother developed edema of hands and face, while blood pressure remained normal. At 30 wg the patient underwent cesarean section because fetal movements ceased and the fetal heart rate monitoring showed loss of variability and decelerations. Before dying, the neonate lived for 20 days in a state of deep hypotension.


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