Determination of fetomaternal haemorrhage (FMH) remains an area of difficulty. In most cases, prophylactic Rh immunoglobulin is usually administered to affected women without testing for foetal red blood cells (RBC). Here, we describe a new particle gel immunoassay (PaGIA) for the determination FMH (FMH-PaGIA). Superparamagnetic particles were coated with monoclonal anti-D and mixed with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-anticoagulated blood samples from D-negative pregnant women. The particles were isolated using a magnetic particle concentrator and then placed into the reaction chamber of a gel card. Agglutinated particles on top or dispersed through the gel matrix indicated the presence of D-positive cells. After the test was adapted to detect >or=0.3% D-positive RBC, randomly selected postpartum samples from 208 women were analysed in parallel with the Kleihauer-Betke test (KBT). In addition, all discrepancies were further analysed by flow cytometry. A total of 203 of the 208 postpartum samples were negative in both tests. One sample reacted positive with both assays. Two samples were strongly positive in the new FMH-PaGIA, but negative in the KBT. A serological re-examination revealed that both women were D positive. The KBT gave a false-positive result in two cases because of hereditary persistence of haemoglobin F. The new test is specific, easy to perform and can be done at any time in all laboratories.