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Wong RKM, Wai CT
Correspondence: Dr Chun-Tao Wai, email@example.com
We describe an unusual case of unexpected dyspnoea following transfusion of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) in a previously-well 72-year-old woman. Our patient was scheduled for an ultrasonographically-guided liver biopsy for work-up for autoimmune hepatitis. She was given FFP to correct a prolonged prothrombin time. Shortly after the transfusion was initiated, she started coughing and became progressively dyspnoeic. Clinically, she was tachypnoeic with diffuse bilateral crepitations, and rapidly went into respiratory failure. She was intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. Her condition improved and she was extubated by the second day, with no long-term pulmonary sequelae. A diagnosis of transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) was made, based on the rapidity of onset and association with transfusion. This was confirmed by the findings of anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies in both the patient and recipient blood. Our case highlights this important but under-recognised condition. The incidence, diagnosis and management of TRALI are also discussed.
Keywords: dyspnoea, fresh frozen plasma, lung injury, plasma transfusion, transfusion reaction, transfusion-related acute lung injury
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(10): 904-906