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Vox Sang. 1993;64(2):94-8.

Posttransfusional hemolysis in recipients of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient erythrocytes.

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Department of Medicine, Hadassah University Hospital at Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.


To test the hypothesis that transfusion of blood donated by individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency may result in a hemolytic reaction, we conducted a prospective longitudinal study in which 10 patients transfused with 1 unit of G6PD-deficient and 1 unit of normal red blood cells (RBC) were compared with 10 patients transfused with 2 units of age-matched normal RBC. We found that 24 h after transfusion serum bilirubin (mumol/l) in the recipients of G6PD-deficient RBC was significantly higher than in the recipients of normal RBC (36 +/- 14 vs. 18 +/- 5, respectively, p > 0.004). A parallel increase was found in the serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH; IU/l) between the two groups (378 +/- 151 vs. 264 +/- 56, p < 0.001). The difference in serum bilirubin (26 +/- 10 vs. 15 +/- 5, p < 0.03) was still noted 48 h after transfusion, with only a marginal difference (p < 0.08) in LDH. We conclude that an immediate posttransfusional hemolytic reaction can occur in recipients of G6PD-deficient RBC and therefore suggest that the differential diagnosis of posttransfusional hemolysis, particularly in populations where G6PD deficiency is prevalent, includes transfusion of erythrocytes from G6PD-deficient donors.

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