Fetal hydrops is excessive extravasation of fluid into the third space in a fetus, which could be due to a wide differential of underlying pathology. IPEX (immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked) syndrome primarily affects males. It is a monogenic primary immunodeficiency syndrome of X-linked recessive inheritance due to FOXP3 gene variants. It is characterised by the development of multiple autoimmune disorders in affected individuals.
We present a rare cause of male fetal hydrops in the context of IPEX syndrome and discuss FOXP3 gene variants as a differential for ‘unexplained’ fetal hydrops that may present after the first trimester.
Discussion and conclusions
In all similar cases, the pathological process begins during intrauterine life. Furthermore, there are no survivors described. Consequently, this variant should be considered as a severe one, associated with intrauterine life onset and fatal course, i.e., the most severe IPEX phenotype.