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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2003 Jul;32(2):231-6.

Red blood cell support and alloimmunization rate against erythrocyte antigens in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1Servizio di Immunoematologia e Trasfusionale, Unità di Aferesi, Ospedale San Gerardo dei Tintori, Via Donizetti 106, 20052 Monza, MI, Italy.


We retrospectively analyzed red blood cell (RBC) support and alloimmunization rate in 218 consecutive patients - 128 from the Pediatric Department and 90 from the adult Hematology Department - undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) between 1994 and 2000. In the pre-HSCT period, the pediatric patients undergoing auto-HSCT required more RBC support. In the post-HSCT period, pediatric patients transplanted with an unrelated donor required more RBC support (median 13.5 U/10 kg bw) than patients receiving HSCT from a related donor (median 6 U/10 kg bw) or from an autologous source (median 4 U/10 kg bw, P=0.0004). In the pre-HSCT period, 159 out of 218 patients (73%) received a total of 1843 RBC units, with an overall median of 9 U/patient over a median of 24 months (range 4-62); 10 patients (6%) developed a total of 12 alloantibodies, with an alloimmunization rate of 5.4/1000 RBC units. In the post-HSCT period, all but three patients were given a total of 2420 RBC units, with an overall median of 6 U/patient over a median of 4 months (range 1-18); all but one of the pre-existing alloantibodies disappeared and three patients (1%) developed new alloantibodies with an alloimmunization rate of 1.2/1000 RBC units. These newly produced alloantibodies (one anti-M and two anti-E) were detected at +58, +90 and +210 days after HSCT. These findings might suggest a different approach to alloantibody screening tests in patients receiving HSCT, with a subsequent reduction of costs and laboratory workload.

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