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Blood Transfus. 2014 Apr;12(2):250-9. doi: 10.2450/2013.0101-13. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

CD144+ endothelial microparticles as a marker of endothelial injury in neonatal ABO blood group incompatibility.

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Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Clinical Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Ministry of Health, Cairo, Egypt.



ABO antigens are expressed on the surfaces of red blood cells and the vascular endothelium. We studied circulating endothelial microparticles (EMP) in ABO haemolytic disease of the newborn (ABO HDN) as a marker of endothelial activation to test a hypothesis of possible endothelial injury in neonates with ABO HDN, and its relation with the occurrence and severity of haemolysis.


Forty-five neonates with ABO HDN were compared with 20 neonates with Rhesus incompatibility (Rh HDN; haemolytic controls) and 20 healthy neonates with matched mother and infant blood groups (healthy controls). Laboratory investigations were done for markers of haemolysis and von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF Ag). EMP (CD144(+)) levels were measured before and after therapy (exchange transfusion and/or phototherapy).


vWF Ag and pre-therapy EMP levels were higher in infants with ABO HDN or Rh HDN than in healthy controls, and were significantly higher in babies with ABO HDN than in those with Rh HDN (p<0.05). In ABO HDN, pre-therapy EMP levels were higher in patients with severe hyperbilirubinaemia than in those with mild and moderate disease or those with Rh HDN (p<0.001). Post-therapy EMP levels were lower than pre-therapy levels in both the ABO HDN and Rh HDN groups; however, the decline in EMP levels was particularly evident after exchange transfusion in ABO neonates with severe hyperbilirubinaemia (p<0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that the concentrations of haemoglobin, lactate dehydrogenase and indirect bilirubin were independently correlated with pre-therapy EMP levels in ABO HDN.


Elevated EMP levels in ABO HDN may reflect an IgG-mediated endothelial injury parallel to the IgG-mediated erythrocyte destruction and could serve as a surrogate marker of vascular dysfunction and disease severity in neonates with this condition.

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