Blood group antibodies and their significance in transfusion medicine.

TitleBlood group antibodies and their significance in transfusion medicine.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPoole J, Daniels G
JournalTransfusion medicine reviews//Transfus Med Rev
Pagination58 - 71
Date Published2007
ISBN Number0887-7963
Other Numbersbe5, 8709027
Keywords*ABO Blood-Group System, *Anemia, Hemolytic, *Blood Group Incompatibility, *Blood Grouping and Crossmatching, *Fetal Diseases, *Fetomaternal Transfusion, *Isoantibodies, ABO Blood-Group System/hi [History], Anemia, Hemolytic/bl [Blood], Blood Group Incompatibility/bl [Blood], Female, Fetal Diseases/bl [Blood], Fetomaternal Transfusion/bl [Blood], History, 20th Century, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Isoantibodies/bl [Blood], Isoantibodies/ch [Chemistry], Isoantibodies/hi [History], Pregnancy

The discovery of almost universally present naturally occurring antibodies in blood plasma led to the discovery of the ABO blood group system which remains, more than 100 years later, the most important and clinically significant of all blood groups. Blood group antibodies play an important role in transfusion medicine, both in relation to the practice of blood transfusion and in pregnancy, but not all are clinically significant. Clinically significant antibodies are capable of causing adverse events following transfusion, ranging from mild to severe, and of causing hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn following placental transfer from mother to fetus. Assessing the clinical significance of antibodies relies heavily on mode of reactivity and historical data relating to specificity; functional assays are sometimes employed. The principals of methodology for blood typing and antibody identification have changed little over the years, relying mainly on serological methods involving red cell agglutination. The recent advent of blood typing using DNA technology, although still in relative infancy, will surely eventually supersede serology. However, deciding on the clinical significance of an antibody when compatible blood is not immediately available is likely to remain as one of the most common dilemmas facing transfusion practitioners.

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