Alternative to Conventional Blood Group Serology

Routine red cell transfusion has proven to be an effective therapy in reducing the risk of recurrent strokes in patients with hemoglobinopathies, hematologic malignancies, organ transplant recipients, etc. One risk of repeated transfusion is alloimmunization. Precise identification of a patient’s genotype early in their treatment reduces the likelihood of alloantibody formation. The provision of antigen-negative blood to these patients minimizes the risk of adverse transfusion reactions and facilitates blood compatibility in subsequent transfusions.

As blood typing reagents become more costly and limited in availability, researchers have searched for substitutes for conventional serology. Blood group genotyping enables improved transfusion safety through more extensive matching between the antigenic profiles of donor and recipient red blood cells. The introduction of molecular biology techniques also allows for the typing of samples that traditional serological methods are unable to resolve, such as:

  • Multi-transfused patients (Sickle Cell Anemia, Thalassemia
  • Recently transfused patients
  • Patients with positive Direct Antiglobulin Test or Warm Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Patients with multiple alloantibodies

Genotyping is a rapid, cost-effective alternative for determining donor red cell antigen profiles.

Today's medicine is heading toward red cell antigen identification by way of DNA analysis - much like what we've seen for organ transplants. Contact Your Lab to learn more about the benefits of this technology.