The influence of clinical and biological factors on transfusion-associated non-ABO antigen alloimmunization: Responders, hyper-responders, and non-responders

Eric A. Gehrie, Christopher A. Tormey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In the context of transfusion medicine, alloimmunization most often refers to the development of antibodies to non-ABO red blood cell (RBC) antigens following pregnancy, transfusion, or transplantation. The development of RBC alloantibodies can have important clinical consequences, particularly in patients who require chronic transfusions. It has been suggested that alloimmunization is more common in some clinical circumstances and patient populations than in others. As such, individuals that develop alloantibodies are frequently referred to as 'responders' in the medical literature. In contrast, individuals that do not develop alloantibodies despite repeated exposures to non-self blood group antigens have been referred to as 'non-responders'. The purpose of this article is to review the phenomenon of RBC alloimmunization in the context of responders and non-responders to: i) establish a basic framework for alloimmunization as reported across several diverse patient populations; ii) more fully explore literature reports which support the concept of responders/non-responders regarding blood group antigen alloimmunization; iii) summarize the mechanisms that have been shown to predispose an individual to alloimmunization to determine how these factors may differentiate 'responders' from 'non-responders'; and iv) briefly discuss some practical approaches to prevent alloimmunization in patients who may be prone to alloantibody development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-429
Number of pages10
JournalTransfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 17 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alloimmunization
  • Blood group antigens
  • Immunohematology
  • Responders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Hematology

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