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Br J Haematol. 2015 Jan;168(2):291-300. doi: 10.1111/bjh.13123. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

Red blood cell alloimmunization is influenced by recipient inflammatory state at time of transfusion in patients with sickle cell disease.

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Department of Transfusion Medicine, Children's National Medical Centre, Washington, DC, USA; Department of Haematology, Children's National Medical Centre, Washington, DC, USA.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients are at increased risk of red blood cell (RBC) alloimmunization. Recipient inflammatory state at time of transfusion has been shown to regulate alloimmunization in murine models, but evidence is lacking in SCD patients. We retrospectively studied a cohort of alloimmunized SCD patients to determine the influence of pro-inflammatory SCD-related complications at time of transfusion on alloimmunization. For each transfusion, the presence of pro-inflammatory state, degree of RBC antigen matching, unit age, storage solution and alloantibody detection date were ascertained. Transfusion-associated pro-inflammatory events were compared between transfusions resulting and not resulting in new alloantibodies. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression were performed. Fifty-two patients received 3166 pre-storage leuco-reduced transfusions of which 128 resulted in alloantibodies. Transfusions during inflammatory events were associated with increased alloantibody risk on univariate and multivariate analysis; acute chest syndrome and vaso-occlusive crisis showed strongest associations with alloimmunization. Increased antigen matching demonstrated a protective effect on alloimmunization (univariate and multivariate analysis). Although an association was seen between citrate-phosphate-dextrose (adenine) stored units and alloimmunization on univariate analysis, no effect was found on multivariate analysis. Identifying recipient pro-inflammatory states at time of transfusion that promote alloimmunization can impact RBC unit selection decisions for SCD patients at risk for alloimmunization.


inflammation; red blood cell alloimmunization; sickle cell disease

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