What is alloimmunization from blood transfusions?

Updated: Sep 08, 2017
  • Author: Douglas Blackall, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Allogeneic blood transfusion is a form of temporary transplantation. This procedure introduces a multitude of foreign antigens and living cells into the recipient that persist for a variable time. A recipient who is immunocompetent may mount an immune response to the donor antigens (ie, alloimmunization), resulting in various clinical consequences, depending on the blood cells and specific antigens involved. The antigens most commonly involved can be classified into the following categories: (1) human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), class I shared by platelets and leukocytes and class II present on some leukocytes; (2) granulocyte-specific antigens; (3) platelet-specific antigens (human platelet antigens [HPAs]); and (4) RBC-specific antigens.

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