Detection of red cell alloantibodies in thalassaemia patients


  • Ansuman Sahu Department of Blood Bank- Transfusion Medicine, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, Bihar, India
  • Pankaj Parida Department of Transfusion Medicine, SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India
  • Smita Mahapatra Department of Transfusion Medicine, SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India
  • Binay Bhusan Sahoo Department of Transfusion Medicine, SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India



Alloantibodies, Alloimmunization, β-thalassaemia, Blood group antigens, Multiple transfusion


Background: β-thalassaemia patients receive regular blood transfusion to thrive. Due to antigen disparity between the blood donors and these patients they develop red cell alloantibodies due to alloimmunization.  The objective of this study is to predict the frequency of red cell alloimmunization amongst β-thalassaemia major patients receiving regular blood transfusion.

Methods: This study including 106 patients with β-thalassaemia was conducted in the department of Transfusion Medicine, S. C. B. Medical College, Cuttack for a period of 12 months. Alloantibodies to different red cell blood group antigens in multi-transfused thalassaemia patients were detected using the glass bead technology for blood group serology in the present study.

Results: Out of 106 β-thalassaemia major patients included in the study, 7.5% of patients developed alloantibodies, all being clinically significant. The alloantibodies were anti-E, anti c, anti e and anti-D. The rate of incidence of these alloantibodies was 3.8%, 1.9%, 0.9% and 0.9% respectively.  There was a significant association between alloantibody formation with number of transfused packed red cells (Mann-Whitney Test: p value = 0.035) and age at first transfusion (p value = 0.001). The factors having no association with alloimmunization to red cell antigens are age and gender.

Conclusions: Alloimmunization to various erythrocyte blood group antigens is a common problem in multi-transfused β-thalassaemia patients. There is an association between number of transfused packed red cells and age at first transfusion with alloantibody formation in the study.


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