Impact of using different laboratory assays to detect human leukocyte antigen antibodies in female blood donors

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Lopes, Larissa B.
Fabron-Jr., Antonio [UNIFESP]
Chiba, Akemi K.
Ruiz, Marcelo O.
Bordin, Jose O.
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BACKGROUND:HLA antibodies passively transferred to transfused recipients may cause transfusion reactions such as transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), but in many of the reported TRALI incidents, no white blood cell antibodies have been identified. We investigated whether a higher number of anti-HLA would be detected in donor's plasma by using a method with potential higher sensitivity rate.STUDY DESIGN and METHODS:Sera from 300 previously pregnant female blood donors were screened for anti-HLA using a solid-phase mixed-antigen assay (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]). Samples from 60 women with three or more pregnancies with a negative ELISA were further tested using microbead-flow assays (LABScreen mixed, panel-reactive antibodies [PRA], and single antigen).RESULTS:Anti-HLA Class I and/or Class II were detected by ELISA in 26.7% (80/300) of all women and in 37.0% (37/100) of women with three or more pregnancies. the LABScreen assays detected additional anti-HLA specificities (44 Class I and 17 Class II) in 28.3% (17/60) of ELISA-negative donors with three or more pregnancies. HLA antibodies were detected in 8.3% (5/60), 18.3% (11/60), and 21.7% (13/60) of ELISA-negative women by LABScreen mixed, PRA, or single antigen, respectively.CONCLUSION:Our data showed that the microbead-flow detected more HLA antibodies than ELISA, but the clinical significance of these antibodies is currently unknown. Detecting anti-HLA is useful for donor management and could contribute to the decision to definitively defer blood donors involved in TRALI incidents. However, further studies are necessary to better determinate the relative risk of TRALI induced by anti-HLA detected only by techniques with higher sensitivity rate.
Transfusion. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc, v. 50, n. 4, p. 902-908, 2010.