Send to

Choose Destination
Transfus Med Hemother. 2018 May;45(3):167-172. doi: 10.1159/000490122. Epub 2018 May 24.

Platelet Transfusion Induces Alloimmunization to D and Non-D Rhesus Antigens.

Author information

University Department of Hematology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Interregional Blood Transfusion Swiss Red Cross, Bern, Switzerland.

Erratum in



Platelet concentrates (PC) contain residual contaminating red blood cells (RBC), being higher in pooled buffy coat PC (BC-PC) than in apheresis units (AP-PC). Data about PC-induced alloimmunization against non-D Rhesus (Rh) antigens are limited.


For all newly detected RhD and non-D alloantibodies between August 2015 and September /2017 we prospectively evaluated if they were triggered through PC by analyzing for incompatible RBC and/or PC transfusions.


We found 5,799 positive results in 89,190 antibody screening tests. We identified 13 newly detectable Rh antibodies through incompatible PCs in 11 patients: 6× anti-D, 4× anti-E, 2× anti-c, 1× anti-f. They received a total of 156 PC (83 BC-PC; 73 AP-PC): 5 patients received incompatible BC-PC only, 1 patient received incompatible AP-PC only, 5 patients received incompatible BC-PC and AP-PC. Quality control showed a mean (range) of 0.304 (0.152-1.662) and 0.014 (0.003-0.080) × 109 RBC/l for BC-PC and AP-PC, respectively. Ten of the 11 patients received RBC transfusions, all of them being antigen-negative for the alloantibodies identified.


PC transfusions may not only induce RhD alloimmunization, but also immunization against further Rh antigens such as c, E, and f. The risk seems higher for BC-PC than for AP-PC. The results may have impact on future recommendations of PC transfusion with respect to Rh compatibility and upper limits of RBC contamination.


Hemovigilance; Platelet transfusion; Rhesus alloimmunization

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center