Lack of alloimmunization to the D antigen in D-negative orthotopic liver transplant recipients receiving D-positive red blood cells perioperatively

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Vox sanguinis


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: D-negative patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) might require a large number of red blood cell (RBC) units, which can impact the inventory of D-negative blood. The blood bank might need to supply these patients with D-positive RBCs because of inventory constraints. This study evaluates the prevalence of anti-D formation in D-negative OLT patients who received D-positive RBCs perioperatively, as this will assist in successful patient blood management.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective study performed at a single academic medical centre. Electronic medical records for all 1052 consecutive patients who underwent OLT from January 2007 through December 2017 were reviewed. D-negative patients who were transfused perioperatively with D-positive RBCs and had antibody screening at least 30 days after transfusion were included.

RESULTS: Of a total of 155 D-negative patients, 23 (14.8%) received D-positive RBCs perioperatively. Seventeen patients were included in the study. The median age was 54 years (range 36-67 years); 13 (76.5%) were male. The median number of D-positive RBC units transfused perioperatively was 7 (range 1-66 units). There was no evidence of D alloimmunization in any patient after a median serologic follow-up of 49.5 months (range 31 days to 127.7 months). The average number of antibody screening post OLT was 7.29.

CONCLUSION: Our study showed that transfusion of D-positive RBCs in D-negative OLT recipients is a safe and acceptable practice in the setting of immunosuppression. This practice allows the conservation of D-negative RBC inventory.

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ePub ahead of print