Should chronic transfusions be matched for antigens other than ABO and Rho(D)?

Vox Sang. 1984;47(3):205-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.1984.tb01587.x.


It has been recommended that red blood cell transfusions to patients with hemoglobinopathy or aplastic anemia be matched for antigens other than ABO and Rho(D). We studied 1,010 patients with disorders that often lead to repetitive transfusion. The frequency of transfused patients with clinically important antibodies was not significantly different among the disease groups except for those with lymphocytic leukemia. The frequency of multiple red cell antibodies was about 3% overall. Most antibodies (71%) developed early in the transfusion course, before the 15th transfusion. From the standpoints of frequency of alloimmunization, multiplicity of antibodies, and time course of antibody development, patients with hemoglobinopathy and aplastic anemia were not significantly different from other transfused patients. Matching for antigens other than ABO or Rho(D) might increase costs in our hospital by 40,000-370,000 dollars per year for these patients. Because morbidity or mortality due to these antibodies is rare, antigen matching for other than ABO and Rho(D) is not cost-effective.

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology
  • Anemia, Aplastic / therapy
  • Blood Group Antigens / immunology
  • Blood Group Incompatibility / immunology*
  • Blood Group Incompatibility / prevention & control
  • Blood Grouping and Crossmatching
  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Hemagglutinins / biosynthesis*
  • Hemoglobinopathies / therapy
  • Humans
  • Isoantibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Leukemia / therapy
  • Male
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System / immunology


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Blood Group Antigens
  • Hemagglutinins
  • Isoantibodies
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System