Prevalence of Alloimmunization against RBC Antigens in Thalassemia Major Patients

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Background : Regular blood transfusions to treat the patients with thalassemia major generate antibodies acting against red blood cells antigens. This immune response is called alloimmunity. This study was conducted with the purpose of determining the prevalence of alloantibodies and autoantibody, identifying the type of causative antigen, and recognizing the factors affecting alloimmunization among the patients with thalassemia major receiving blood. Materials and Methods : In this cross-sectional study, 385 patients with thalassemia major participated. After recording their demographic information, serum specimens taken from the patients were screened using pooled cells obtained from Biorad Company. The positive cases were examined to identify antibodies using panel cells obtained from Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization. In this study, SPSS 16 was employed for performing statistical analysis.Results : Of the 385 patients, 69 subjects (17.9%) comprising 221 men and 164 women had alloantibody. In 57 cases, the antibody type was exactly identified. In 21 patients (5.5%) the existence of autoantibody was determined. The mean ages of the participants were within 14.3±7.5 and 13.3±7.9 years old for male and female groups, respectively. 28 patients had splenectomy and age at the onset of blood transfusion ranged from a month after birth to nine years.Conclusion : In these patients, the most significant blood group systems acted by alloantibodies were Rh and Kell. Since the results of this study show 17.9% incidence of alloimmunization in these patients, it is recommended to carry out injected blood compatibility test (cross-match)  after antibody screening.