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Transfusion. 2018 Jul;58(7):1626-1630. doi: 10.1111/trf.14648. Epub 2018 May 6.

Transfusions of least-incompatible blood with intravenous immunoglobulin plus steroids cover in two patients with rare antibody.

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Department of Red Cell Immunohaematology, National Blood Service-Tooting Center, Sheffield, UK.
International Blood Group Reference Laboratory, Bristol, UK.
Department of Red Cell Immunohaematology, NHS Blood and Transplant (Sheffield Centre), Sheffield, UK.
Department of Haematology, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK.



The therapeutic value of the use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to correct anemia and thrombocytopenia as a result of immunologic causes (hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn and fetal or neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia) have been well established. Few published papers exist regarding the use of IVIG in adult settings. We report two patients with clinically significant antibodies against high-incidence antigens, who were successfully transfused with incompatible red blood cells (RBCs), in conjunction with IVIG plus steroids and IVIG.


Case 1 was a 25-year-old patient (Hb SC) who was admitted with low hemoglobin (Hb) and low reticulocyte count. A diagnosis of parvovirus-induced RBC hypoplasia was made. The patient's sample contained anti-E, anti-N, and anti-U. The Hb decreased to 37 g/dL and urgent transfusion was provided with E-, N-, "least-incompatible" RBC units covered by IVIG and hydrocortisone. Case 2 was a 54-year-old patient who was admitted after a road traffic accident. Nonspecific weak antibody was detected. She received 6 units of least-incompatible RBCs. She was transferred to another hospital and received 2 least-incompatible units. Hb level decreased further and an additional unit was transfused. Samples were referred to the reference laboratory and strong anti-Jra detected. As there was clinical and laboratory evidence of hemolysis and Jr(a-) units were not available, IVIG was prescribed and least-incompatible units were transfused.


There were no hemolytic transfusion reactions, hemolysis ceased, and anemia improved in both cases.


Prophylaxis with IVIG plus steroids and IVIG should be considered as a therapeutic option when transfusion of incompatible units is necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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