Which physical findings are characteristic of delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions (DHTR)?

Updated: Sep 08, 2017
  • Author: Douglas Blackall, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Hemolysis is usually extravascular, but in rare cases a component of intravascular hemolysis is present.

Most cases manifest during the second week after transfusion, but the reaction can occur from 24 hours to 3 months after the transfusion.

Many patients are asymptomatic, and the condition is oftentimes detected only by laboratory testing. [7]

In some patients, fever and/or chills (50%), jaundice (10%), pain (3%), and dyspnea (1%) can occur.

Rarely, cases may be complicated by renal failure (6%) or disseminated intravascular coagulation (1%).

In patients with sickle cell disease, a DHTR can precipitate a sickling crisis. [8]

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