Kleihauer test


Alternative names, keywords


Samples required

EDTA blood for crossmatch (pink cap, 6 mL tube).

Test indications

Routinely used for the detection of a fetomaternal haemorrhage (FMH) in RhD negative women, following the delivery of an RhD positive baby.  Also performed after any potentially sensitising event in RhD negative women after 20 weeks gestation and in certain other circumstances.

Reference range

Where a bleed is estimated in the laboratory to be less than 2mL the 500iu standard is sufficient unless cell salvage has been used at delivery.  The laboratory will advise on additional anti-D requirement where necessary.  Advice will be based on recommendations by British Society of Haematology (2009) “Guidelines for the Estimation of Fetomaternal Haemorrhage”.

Note that if the baby or foetus of an RhD negative woman is known to be RhD negative, no anti-D is required.

Turnaround time

1 working day


Haematology (Transfusion)