Date: 19 Jun 2013

Detection and Identification of Red Cell Alloantibodies in Multiply Transfused Thalassemia Major Patients: A Prospective Study

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Abstract

Life long red blood transfusion remains the main treatment for β thalassemia major patients. The development of alloantibodies complicates transfusion therapy in thalassemia patients. Alloimmunization to red cell antigens is one of the most important immunological transfusion reaction and causes delayed type of transfusion reaction. A prospective study was conducted from January 2007 to January 2010. This was a cohorts of 115 patients were selected from regular transfusion group and they were followed for two and half year. They were followed up for the effect of transfusion during study period. There was a decline in patient number from 115 to 96 due to mortality and transfer of patient. A total of 96 multiply transfused thalassemia patients were prospectively included in this study and three consecutive samples collected after every 6 months and investigated for the development of alloantibody to red cell antigens. Tests for antibody screening and identification were performed on preserved sample to investigate prevalence and development of red cell alloimmunization by standardized laboratory techniques by same person at Prathama Blood Centre. A total of 96 patients were included in the study. 63 patients were males and 33 females. A total of five single alloantibodies were formed in five patients out of them four (80 %) belonged to Kell blood group system and one (20 %) from Rh system. It was observed that two (1.92 %) of new thalassemia patients developed red cell alloantibodies during study period. Red cell alloimmunization should be kept in mind in the patients receiving multiple transfusions. In present study, alloimmunization rate was 5.21 %. Mean transfusion duration in these patients was 23.90 days, probably due to presence of alloantibody. RBC alloantibody detection on regular interval and corresponding antigen negative blood transfusion is strongly recommended in transfusion dependent thalassemia patients.