BACKGROUND: Patients with warm autoantibodies are at high risk for delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions due to the presence of alloantibodies. To provide blood safe for transfusion and to avoid adsorption studies in some cases, the provision of prophylactic antigen-matched donor blood where feasible for patients with warm autoantibodies is advocated. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Twenty consecutive adult patients with warm autoantibodies (January 1999 to February 2000) received chronic RBC transfusions by use of this protocol: the serology consistent with warm autoantibodies was confirmed; the alloantibodies were identified; the complete phenotype was determined (i.e., C, E, c, e, K, Jk(a), Jk(b), Fy(a), Fy(b), S, and s); and prophylactic antigen-matched (i.e., donor RBCs matched with the patient's phenotype), WBC-reduced donor RBCs were provided for transfusion. On subsequent admissions, samples were evaluated by panel studies and DATs. If the serology remained consistent with previous findings, prophylactic antigen-matched, WBC-reduced RBCs were transfused without further testing. RESULTS: Eight of 20 (40%) patients had existing, clinically significant alloantibodies. In 12 of 20 (60%) patients, a phenotype was determined and the patients received transfusion of a total of 149 prophylactic antigen-matched RBC units (mean, 15 units per patient) precluding adsorption studies on 51 pretransfusion samples. In 8 of 20 (40%) cases (2 with alloantibodies), phenotypes were indeterminant, necessitating differential allogeneic adsorption studies on 39 samples before transfusion of 144 RBC units (mean, 18 units per patient). CONCLUSIONS: Determining complete phenotypes should be a routine component of the serologic evaluation of patients with warm autoantibodies. Our algorithm for providing prophylactic antigen-matched RBCs to these patients when a complete phenotype can be determined provides flexibility in their transfusion management while maintaining safety and circumvents or simplifies pretransfusion adsorption studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy