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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2011 Sep;46(9):1167-85. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2011.135.

Red blood cell-incompatible allogeneic hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation.

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Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack, NJ 07601, USA.


Transplantation of hematopoietic progenitor cells from red cell-incompatible donors occurs in 30-50% of patients. Immediate and delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions are expected complications of red cell-disparate transplantation and both ABO and other red cell systems such as Kidd and rhesus can be involved. The immunohematological consequences of red cell-incompatible transplantation include delayed red blood cell recovery, pure red cell aplasia and delayed hemolysis from viable lymphocytes carried in the graft ('passenger lymphocytes'). The risks of these reactions, which may be abrupt in onset and fatal, are ameliorated by graft processing and proper blood component support. Red blood cell antigens are expressed on endothelial and epithelial tissues in the body and could serve to increase the risk of GvHD. Mouse models indicate that blood cell antigens may function as minor histocompatibility antigens affecting engraftment. Similar observations have been found in early studies of human transplantation for transfused recipients, although current conditioning and immunosuppressive regimens appear to overcome this affect. No deleterious effects from the use of red cell-incompatible hematopoietic grafts on transplant outcomes, such as granulocyte and platelet engraftments, the incidences of acute or chronic GvHD, relapse risk or OS, have been consistently demonstrated. Most studies, however, include limited number of patients, varying diagnoses and differing treatment regimens, complicating the detection of an effect of ABO-incompatible transplantation. Classification of patients by ABO phenotype ignoring the allelic differences of these antigens also may obscure the effect of red cell-incompatible transplantation on transplant outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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