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Immunohematology. 2000;16(4):157-9.

Further characterization of transfusion-related acute lung injury: demographics, clinical and laboratory features, and morbidity.

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  • 1HAEMONETICS CORP., 400 Hood Rd., Braintree, MA 02184, USA.


According to Food and Drug Administration data, transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the third most frequent cause of transfusion-associated death in the United States and is characterized by an acute respiratory distress syndrome-like clinical picture following transfusion of plasma-containing blood components. It may be underdiagnosed due to unfamiliarity of clinicians with the syndrome. This report describes the largest series to date, 46 cases, occurring between 1992 and 1998. The male-to-female ratio was approximately 1:1. The mean age at diagnosis was 54 years. The most frequent presenting symptom or signs were acute respiratory distress, hypotension, and hypertension. Antibodies to human leukocyte antigens or granulocytes were identified in 61 percent of cases, with 50 percent associated with antibodies in a donor whose blood had been transfused to a patient developing TRALI. Clinical recovery occurred in 87 percent of patients, but TRALI contributed to deaths in 13 percent. Clinicians need to recognize and diagnose this syndrome in order to respond with appropriate interventions.

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