Polyethylene glycol versus low‐ionic‐strength solution in pretransfusion testing: a blinded comparison study

R. S. Shirey, J. S. Boyd, P. M. Ness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been shown to potentiate antigen‐antibody reactions. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: To investigate the utility of PEG in pretransfusion testing, a blinded comparison study of PEG and a low‐ionic‐strength additive solution (LISS) was conducted. A total of 500 patient samples were tested in parallel with reagent antibody‐detection cells using blind‐coded PEG and LISS potentiators. RESULTS: In 34 (34%) of 100 samples with known antibodies in the Rh, Kell, Duffy, Kidd, and MNS systems, PEG antiglobulin reactions were stronger (total score, 382) than LISS antiglobulin reactions (total score, 216), and in 66 cases (66%), they were equal to those of LISS. Of 400 samples without detectable antibodies, 384 were negative with PEG and LISS, and 16 were positive in PEG tests and negative in LISS. Seven of the 16 were clinically important antibodies (D, 1; E, 3; Fya, 1; Jka; 1; Jkb, 1), and four were clinically benign antibodies (Le(a), 2; McCc, 1; Sda, 1). Five of the 16 demonstrated inconclusive PEG reactions, for a false‐positive rate of 5 in 400 (1.3%). Of the 500 samples, none was negative in PEG tests and positive in LISS (0% false‐negative rate). CONCLUSION: Although PEG demonstrates a relatively high false‐positive rate, PEG is more sensitive than LISS in detecting clinically significant antibodies. 1994 AABB

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-370
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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