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Transfusion. 2019 Feb 13. doi: 10.1111/trf.15197. [Epub ahead of print]

Red blood cell alloimmunization and minor red blood cell antigen phenotypes in transfused Ghanaian patients with sickle cell disease.

Author information

1
Medical Laboratory Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
2
International Public Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
3
Paediatrics, George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia.
4
Blood Bank and Transfusion Services, University of Michigan Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
5
Child Health, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
6
Department of Experimental Immunohematology, Sanquin, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The routine pretransfusion investigations in Southern Ghana involve only ABO-D blood group typing and ABO compatibility testing without screening for irregular red blood cell (RBC) antibodies. The prevalence and specificities of RBC antibodies and frequencies of most minor blood group antigens in transfused patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) in Ghana are not known and are the objectives of this study.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

This was a cross-sectional study that investigated transfused patients with SCD for the presence of irregular RBC antibodies and Rhesus, Kell, Duffy, Kidd, and Ss antigens.

RESULTS:

From a total of 154 patients (median age, 9 years), 10 patients (6.5%) possessed 13 antibodies, predominantly against D, C, and E antigens. In three patients, the antibodies (anti-D, anti-D + C, and anti-C + e) were against antigens they possessed by serology. Genotyping showed that two of these patients had variant RHCE genes that encode for weak and partial e antigens and one patient had a partial RHC gene. Frequencies of most RBC antigens were comparable with frequencies established among the African American population; however, K-k- and Jk(a-b-) phenotypes were more frequent and were present in 21% and 17% of patients, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of RBC alloimmunization in transfused Ghanaian patients with SCD was 6.5% and the majority of antibodies were against antigens of the Rh system. Our findings stress the need to include pretransfusion testing for RBC antibodies in patients with SCD, to improve transfusion safety.

PMID:
30758856
DOI:
10.1111/trf.15197

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