What is the pathophysiology of nonhemolytic febrile transfusion reactions?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: S Gerald Sandler, MD, FACP, FCAP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Nonhemolytic febrile transfusion reactions are usually caused by cytokines from leukocytes in transfused red cell or platelet components, causing fever, chills, or rigors. In the transfusion setting, a fever is defined as a temperature elevation of 1º C or 2º F. A nonhemolytic transfusion reaction is a diagnosis of exclusion, because hemolytic and septic reactions can present similarly.


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