Fetal microchimerism

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Fetal cells in maternal blood before and after pregnancy.

LogoKeyPointsBox.pngFetal microchimerism has been shown for up to 27 years postpartum[1]

A degree of this is normal and animal models suggest it occurs in all pregnancies. It may explain certain differences epidemiologically between females who have been pregnant and those who have not. The number of conditions associated with it are limited and a large number of autoimmune diseases have been examined for such an association. Some conditions that may be associated are:

Info bulb.pngMale microchimerism is found in up to 10% of females who have never been pregnant[2] suggesting non fetal origins possible such as
  • unrecognized spontaneous abortion
  • vanished male twin
  • older brother transferred by the maternal circulation
  • sexual intercourse

It will need to be studied in virgins to see if the last two are possible in man

References

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