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Noor Haslina MN, Ariffin N, Illuni Hayati I, Rosline H
Correspondence: Dr Noor Haslina Mohd Noor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Thalassaemia is one of the major public health problems in Malaysia. Regular monthly blood transfusion remains the main treatment for severe thalassaemia patients. One of the complications of blood transfusion is the formation by the recipients of alloantibodies and autoantibodies against red blood cell (RBC) antigen. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of RBC autoantibodies among multiple-transfused thalassaemic patients in our institution and factors that contribute to its development.
Methods A prospective study was conducted in Haematology Laboratory, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia between January 2004 and December 2004. A total of 63 thalassaemia patients, who received regular blood transfusion were included in this study. Clinical and serological data were collected and analysed prospectively. Blood samples were subjected to standard blood bank procedures for screening of antibodies and their subsequent identification using reagent of Diamed-ID Gel microtyping system.
Results There were 49 (77.8 percent) patients with Hb E/beta-thalassaemia, ten (15.9 percent) beta-thalassaemia major, three (4.7 percent) Hb H Constant Spring and one (1.6 percent) Hb H disease. Only one (1.6 percent) patient had autoantibodies. There were no statistical associations found between the formation of autoantibodies with age at the start of transfusion, number of packed cell transfused and splenectomy.
Conclusion Our data showed a low autoimmunisation rate in multiple-transfused thalassaemia patients in our hospital.
Keywords: autoimmunisation, autoantibody, blood transfusion complication, red cell autoantibody, thalassaemia
Singapore Med J 2007; 48(10): 922-925