Red blood cell alloantibodies and liver transplantation in Chinese patients

Transplantation. 2003 Jun 15;75(11):1904-6. doi: 10.1097/01.TP.0000065741.31599.9C.


Red blood cell (RBC) alloantibodies are present in up to 14% of white recipients of liver transplants and can cause severe delayed hemolysis. A retrospective survey showed 17 cases (8.8%) of RBC alloantibodies in 192 consecutive Chinese recipients of liver transplants, compared with a 3.7% background hospital incidence. The spectrum of RBC alloantibodies was different from that in white recipients, with no anti-D or anti-K antibodies but with a significant incidence of anti-Mi (29%) antibodies. There was significantly increased transfusion in RBC alloantibody positive cases. Delayed hemolysis also resulted in higher day-7 bilirubin levels. A total of 7 to 86 antigen-positive units were issued in five RBC alloantibody cases, including three early deaths. Seven cases in the RBC alloantibody negative group, but none in the positive group, were salvaged by regraft. Blood banks servicing transplant centers should be aware of ethnic patterns in RBC alloantibodies. Delayed hemolysis may jeopardize patient survival as a result of difficult postoperative stabilization, especially in cases requiring massive transfusion.

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians
  • Erythrocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hemolysis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Isoantibodies / blood*
  • Jaundice / ethnology
  • Jaundice / immunology
  • Jaundice / mortality
  • Liver Failure / ethnology
  • Liver Failure / immunology
  • Liver Failure / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation / ethnology
  • Liver Transplantation / immunology*
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Whites


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Isoantibodies