Klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 64, Issue 22, pp 1198–1203 | Cite as

Posttransfusion purpura

A survey of 13 cases
  • C. Mueller-Eckhardt
  • V. Kiefel
  • G. Mueller-Eckhardt
  • R. Bambauer
  • J. Baur
  • B. Behringhoff
  • U. Deuss
  • D. Heinrich
  • H. O. Klein
  • K. Lechner
  • D. Maas
  • S. Panzer
  • R. Sprenger
  • H. Stählin
  • H. Vahrson


Thirteen cases of posttransfusion purpura (PTP) which were diagnosed in Germany and Austria from 1977–1985 are described. All patients were women with a mean age of 58.6 years (range, 36–77 years). All but one had been pregnant and received blood transfusions 2 to 12 days prior to the onset of PTP. The thrombocytopenic purpura was always severe with a nadir of platelet counts below 10×109/l and lasted between 3 and 60 days. All patients recovered from PTP. Optimal therapy consisted of administration of high-dose IgG. Twelve of the 13 patients had developed platelet-specific Zwa antibodies (eight of them together with HLA antibodies), in one Zwa positive individual only HLA antibodies were detectable. Five of six HLA-DR typed patients carried DR3 which is considered an immunogenetic risk factor in PTP. Clinical awareness of this rare, but serious iatrogenic transfusion complication is prerequisite for prompt diagnosis and improved therapy.

Key words

Posttransfusion purpura Thrombocytopenia Blood transfusion Platelet antibodies HLA antigens 



Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Human leukocyte antigen


Lymphocytotoxicity test


Platelet-associated C3d


Platelet adhesion immunofluorescence test


Platelet-associated IgA


Platelet-associated IgG


Platelet-associated IgM


Platelet radioactive anti-IgG test


Posttransfusion purpura


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Mueller-Eckhardt
    • 1
  • V. Kiefel
    • 1
  • G. Mueller-Eckhardt
    • 1
  • R. Bambauer
    • 2
  • J. Baur
    • 3
  • B. Behringhoff
    • 4
  • U. Deuss
    • 5
  • D. Heinrich
    • 4
  • H. O. Klein
    • 6
  • K. Lechner
    • 7
  • D. Maas
    • 8
  • S. Panzer
    • 7
  • R. Sprenger
    • 9
  • H. Stählin
    • 10
  • H. Vahrson
    • 11
  1. 1.Institut für Klinische Immunologie und TransfusionsmedizinJustus-Liebig-UniversitätGiessen
  2. 2.Abteilung Dialyse und NephrologieMedizinische Universitätsklinik und PoliklinikHomburg/Saar
  3. 3.Chirurgische Klinik Innenstadt und Chirurgische Poliklinik der Universität MünchenMünchen
  4. 4.Zentrum für Innere Medizin I und IIIJustus-Liebig-UniversitätGiessen
  5. 5.Krankenhaus Köln-MerheimMedizinische KlinikKöln
  6. 6.Medizinische Universitätsklinik IKöln
  7. 7.I. Medizinische UniversitätsklinikWien
  8. 8.Rheumaklinik IWiesbaden
  9. 9.Landeskrankenhaus FeldkirchAbteilung Innere MedizinFeldkirchOsterreich
  10. 10.Kreiskrankenhaus BassumGeburtshilflich-gynäkologische AbteilungBassum
  11. 11.Zentrum für Frauenheilkunde und GeburtshilfeJustus-Liebig-UniversitätGiessen

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