How I safely transfuse patients with sickle-cell disease and manage delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions.
ABSTRACT: Transfusions can be a life-saving treatment of patients with sickle-cell disease (SCD). However, availability of matched units can be limiting because of distinctive blood group polymorphisms in patients of African descent. Development of antibodies against the transfused red blood cells (RBCs), resulting in delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions (DHTRs), can be life-threatening and pose unique challenges for this population with regard to treatment strategies and transfusion management protocols. In cases where the transfused cells and the patient's own RBCs are destroyed, diagnosis of DHTR can be difficult because symptoms may mimic vaso-occlusive crisis, and frequently, antibodies are undetectable. Guidelines are needed for early diagnosis of DHTR because treatment may need to include temporarily withholding any new transfusions to avoid further hemolysis. Also needed are case-control studies to optimally tailor treatments based on the severity of DHTR and develop preventive transfusion strategies for patients at DHTR risk. Here, we will review gaps in knowledge and describe through case studies our recommended approach to prevent alloimmunization and to diagnose and treat symptomatic DHTRs for which complementary mechanistic studies to understand their pathogenesis are sorely needed.
Project description:Blood transfusions can induce alloantibodies to antigens on red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells and platelets, with these alloantibodies affecting transfusion and transplantation. While transfusion-related alloimmunization against RBC antigens and human leucocyte antigens (HLA) have been studied, transfusion-related alloimmunization to minor histocompatibility antigens (mHA), such as H-Y antigens, has not been clinically characterized. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 114 children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and tested for antibodies to 5 H-Y antigens and to HLA class I and class II. Few patients had H-Y antibodies, with no significant differences in the prevalence of any H-Y antibody observed among transfused females (7%), transfused males (6%) and never transfused females (4%). In contrast, HLA class I, but not HLA class II, antibodies were more prevalent among transfused than never transfused patients (class I: 33% vs. 13%, P = 0·046; class II: 7% vs. 8%, P = 0·67). Among transfused patients, RBC alloantibody history but not amount of transfusion exposure was associated with a high (>25%) HLA class I panel reactive antibody (Odds ratio 6·8, 95% confidence interval 2·1-22·3). These results are consistent with immunological responder and non-responder phenotypes, wherein a subset of patients with SCD may be at higher risk for transfusion-related alloimmunization.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Prevention of red blood cell (RBC) alloimmunization in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) focuses on phenotypic RBC matching. We assessed alloimmunization among transfused patients with SCD after implementing leukoreduction and prophylactic antigen matching (PAM). STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:Retrospective review of transfusion and medical records for SCD patients 18 months to 81 years of age was performed covering two 5-year periods: Period 1, no PAM, occasional leukoreduction, and Period 2, consistent leukoreduction and extended PAM (Rh, Kell, S, Fy, Jk) for patients already alloimmunized. Patients transfused in Period 1 were excluded from Period 2. RESULTS:A total of 293 patients were transfused in Period 1 and 183 in Period 2. Median time between first sample and last type and screen after transfusion was 2.12 years in Period 1 and 1.03 years in Period 2. Initial alloimmunization prevalence was lower in Period 2 (26.2%) versus Period 1 (37.5%) and after subsequent transfusions in Period 2 (23.8%) versus Period 1 (45.7%), although without significant difference after adjusting for number of units transfused, percentage of leukoreduced RBCs, sex, and age. Alloimmunized patients received more nonleukoreduced RBCs in Period 1 than nonalloimmunized. Patients transfused during inflammatory conditions were not significantly more likely to become alloimmunized. CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of initial and subsequent RBC alloimmunization in Period 2 was lower than that in Period 1; however, overall prevalence remained high. We recommend leukoreduced, hemoglobin S-negative Rh and Kell PAM RBCs for transfusion of patients with SCD. Component and recipient factors affecting alloimmunization should be studied further.
Project description:Although a subset of recent studies have suggested that red blood cell (RBC) storage length is associated with adverse patient outcomes, others have shown no such relationship. Adults may be transfused with RBC units of different storage lengths, and existing studies do not take into consideration that fresh RBCs may alter responses to concurrently transfused stored RBCs. To test this possibility, we utilized a murine model and investigated transfusion outcomes of fresh, stored, or fresh-plus-stored RBCs.Fresh, 14-day-stored or fresh plus 14-day-stored leukoreduced RBCs from HOD-transgenic donors (with RBC-specific expression of hen egg lysozyme, ovalbumin, and human Duffy(b)) were transfused into naïve C57BL/6 recipients. Serum cytokines and anti-HOD alloimmunization were evaluated after transfusion.In six of six experiments (n = 90 mice total), a proinflammatory serum cytokine storm of interleukin-6, keratinocyte-derived chemokine/CXCL1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 was observed in transfusion recipients of stored but not fresh RBCs, along with high degrees of anti-HOD alloimmunization. However, concurrent transfusion of fresh HOD RBCs along with stored HOD RBCs significantly decreased these adverse outcomes (p < 0.05).These results are consistent with fresh murine HOD RBCs losing protective properties during storage, and introduce a previously unrecognized variable in RBC storage studies. If translatable to humans, uniform "old blood" groups may be needed in future clinical studies to more accurately investigate the biologic effects of older RBC units.
Project description:Red blood cell (RBC) alloimmunization represents a significant immunological challenge for some patients. While a variety of immune constituents likely contribute to the initiation and orchestration of alloantibodies to RBC antigens, identification of key immune factors that initiate alloantibody formation may aid in the development of a therapeutic modality to minimize or prevent this process. To define the immune factors that may be important in driving alloimmunization to an RBC antigen, we determined the specific immune compartment and distinct cells that may initially engage transfused RBCs and facilitate subsequent alloimmunization. Our findings demonstrate that the splenic compartment is essential for formation of anti-KEL antibodies following KEL RBC transfusion. Within the spleen, transfused KEL RBCs are found within the marginal sinus, where they appear to specifically co-localize with marginal zone (MZ) B cells. Consistent with this, removal of MZ B cells completely prevented alloantibody formation following KEL RBC transfusion. While MZ B cells can mediate a variety of key downstream immune pathways, depletion of follicular B cells or CD4 T cells failed to similarly impact the anti-KEL antibody response, suggesting that MZ B cells may play a key role in the development of anti-KEL IgM and IgG following KEL RBC transfusion. These findings highlight a key contributor to KEL RBC-induced antibody formation, wherein MZ B cells facilitate antibody formation following RBC transfusion.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Only a fraction of red blood cell (RBC) transfusion recipients form alloantibodies, and variables determining responsiveness or nonresponsiveness are poorly understood. We and others have previously shown in animal models that pretreatment with toll-like receptor agonists that mimic different types of infections impacts the magnitude or frequency of RBC alloantibody responses. We hypothesized that influenza infection, coexistent with transfusion, would impact responses to transfused RBCs in a manner dependent on Type 1(?/?) interferon (IFN) signaling and tested this in a murine model. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:Wild-type mice or mice lacking the ability to respond to Type 1 IFN were infected with influenza prior to the transfusion of transgenic murine RBCs (K1) expressing the human KEL glycoprotein or the triple fusion HOD protein. Alloantibody responses were measured longitudinally after transfusion by flow cytometric crossmatch, and posttransfusion RBC recovery and survival was evaluated. RESULTS:Influenza-infected mice transfused with K1 RBCs developed robust anti-KEL alloantibodies, whereas animals transfused in the absence of infection remained nonresponders; influenza-associated RBC alloimmunization was also observed after transfusion of HOD RBCs. Recipient Type 1 IFN production was critical to the mechanism of action of influenza-induced RBC alloimmunization, with alloimmunization being significantly decreased in mice unable to sense Type 1 IFN (through antibody blockade or genetic approaches). CONCLUSION:These and other data suggest that Type 1 IFN responses to toll-like receptor agonists or infections regulate RBC alloantibody responses. Studies investigating whether such a correlation exists in humans may be informative.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Red blood cell (RBC) alloimmunization occurs at a high frequency in sickle cell anemia (SCA) despite serologic matching for Rh (C/c, E/e) and K antigens. RBC minor antigen genotyping allows for prediction of antigens and RH variants that may lead to alloimmunization. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:RBC antigen genotyping was performed on chronically transfused pediatric SCA patients, using PreciseType human erythrocyte antigen (HEA), RHCE, and RHD BeadChip arrays. All patients received C/c, E/e, and K serologically matched units (Category 1); patients with prior RBC antibodies were also matched for Fya , Jkb , and any antibodies (Category 2). The RBC genotypes of all leukoreduced (LR) units transfused over a 12-month period were determined by the prototype HEA-LR BeadChip assay. RESULTS:There were 2320 RBC units transfused to 90 patients in 1135 transfusion episodes. Thirty-five (38.9%) patients had homozygous or compound heterozygous RH variants. Seven new alloantibodies were detected, with alloantibody incidence of 0.706 in 100 units for Category 2 transfusions and 0.068 in 100 units for Category 1 (p?=?0.02). Three patients on Category 2 transfusions formed new anti-Jsa and had a higher rate of exposure to Jsa than those who did not form anti-Jsa (20.4 vs. 8.33 exposures/100 units, p?=?0.02). The most frequent mismatches were S (43.9%), Doa (43.9%), Fya (29.2%), M (28.4%), and Jkb (28.1%). CONCLUSIONS:Alloimmunization incidence was higher in those with prior RBC antibodies, suggesting that past immunologic responders are at higher risk for future alloimmunization and therefore may benefit from more extensive antigen matching beyond C/c, E/e, K, Fya , and Jkb .
Project description:Chronically transfused patients with thalassemia are at risk for red cell alloimmunization. No studies have specifically examined alloimmunization after implementation of prophylactic Rh (D, C, E) and K matched red cells in a racially diverse population of thalassemia patients and donors. This retrospective study examined Rh antibodies among 40 chronically transfused patients (Asian, White, Black, Indian, Middle Eastern) with thalassemia receiving a mean of 174 serologic prophylactic RhD, C, E, and K matched red cell units. We examined the patients' RH genotype, as well as donor race and Rh phenotypes over 3 transfusion events preceding antibody detection. Eighteen alloantibodies were detected in 13 of 40 patients (32.5%), with an alloimmunization rate of 0.26 antibodies per 100 units transfused. Thirteen antibodies (72.2%) were directed against Rh (5 anti-D, 4 anti-C, 2 anti-E, 1 anti-e, 1 anti-V), despite donor phenotypes that confirmed lack of transfusion of D, C, or E antigens to patients lacking the corresponding antigen(s). Ten of 40 patients had an altered RH genotype, but the Rh antibodies were not associated with patients with variant RH. Black donors with a known high frequency of RH variants provided 63% of the units transfused in the 3 visits preceding unexplained anti-Rh detection. Rh alloimmunization not explained by the thalassemia patients' RH genotype or the donors' serologic phenotype suggests more precise matching is needed, and the role of donor RH genotypes on alloimmunization should be explored. Extending Rh D, C, and E matching to include c and e would result in better-matched units and further minimize Rh alloimmunization.
Project description:Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) often require transfusions to treat and prevent worsening anemia and other SCD complications. However, transfusions can trigger alloimmunization against transfused RBCs with serious clinical sequelae. Risk factors for alloimmunization in SCD remain poorly understood. We recently reported altered regulatory T cell (Treg) and Th responses with higher circulating Th1 (IFN-?(+)) cytokines in chronically transfused SCD patients with alloantibodies as compared with those without alloantibodies. Because monocytes play a critical role in polarization of T cell subsets and participate in clearance of transfused RBCs, we tested the hypothesis that in response to the RBC breakdown product hemin, monocyte control of T cell polarization will differ between alloimmunized and non-alloimmunized SCD patients. Exogenous hemin induced Treg polarization in purified T cell/monocyte cocultures from healthy volunteers through the monocyte anti-inflammatory heme-degrading enzyme heme oxygenase-1. Importantly, hemin primarily through its effect on CD16+ monocytes induced an anti-inflammatory (higher Treg/lower Th1) polarization state in the non-alloimmunized SCD group, whereas it had little effect in the alloimmunized group. Non-alloimmunized SCD CD16+ monocytes expressed higher basal levels of heme oxygenase-1. Furthermore, IL-12, which contributed to a proinflammatory polarization state (low Treg/high Th1) in SCD, was dampened in hemin-treated stimulated monocytes from non-alloimmunized SCD patients, but not in the alloimmunized group. These data suggest that unlike alloimmunized patients, non-alloimmunized SCD CD16+ monocytes in response to transfused RBC breakdown products promote an anti-inflammatory state that is less conducive to alloimmunization.
Project description:Transfusions of RBCs stored for longer durations are associated with adverse effects in hospitalized patients. We prospectively studied 14 healthy human volunteers who donated standard leuko-reduced, double RBC units. One unit was autologously transfused "fresh" (3-7 days of storage), and the other "older" unit was transfused after 40 to 42 days of storage. Of the routine laboratory parameters measured at defined times surrounding transfusion, significant differences between fresh and older transfusions were only observed in iron parameters and markers of extravascular hemolysis. Compared with fresh RBCs, mean serum total bilirubin increased by 0.55 mg/dL at 4 hours after transfusion of older RBCs (P = .0003), without significant changes in haptoglobin or lactate dehydrogenase. In addition, only after the older transfusion, transferrin saturation increased progressively over 4 hours to a mean of 64%, and non-transferrin-bound iron appeared, reaching a mean of 3.2?M. The increased concentrations of non-transferrin-bound iron correlated with enhanced proliferation in vitro of a pathogenic strain of Escherichia coli (r = 0.94, P = .002). Therefore, circulating non-transferrin-bound iron derived from rapid clearance of transfused, older stored RBCs may enhance transfusion-related complications, such as infection.
Project description:Background: Each year, over 5 million red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are administered to patients in the USA. Despite the therapeutic benefits of RBC transfusions, there are associated risks. RBC-specific alloantibodies may form in response to antigenic differences between RBC donors and recipients; these alloantibodies can be a problem as they may mediate hemolysis or pose barriers to future transfusion support. While there is currently no reliable way to predict which RBC recipients will make an alloantibody response, risk factors such as inflammation have been shown to correlate with increased rates of RBC alloimmunization. The underlying mechanisms behind how inflammation mediates alloantibody production are incompletely defined. Methods: To assess erythrophagocytosis, mice were treated with PBS or inflammatory stimuli followed by a transfusion of allogeneic RBCs labeled with a lipophilic dye. At multiple time points, RBC consumption and expression of activation makers by leukocytes was evaluated. To determine which antigen presenting cell (APC) subset(s) were capable of promoting allogeneic T cell activation, sorted leukocyte populations (which had participated in erythrophagocytosis) were co-cultured in vitro with allogeneic CD4+ T cells; T cell proliferation and ability to form immunological synapses with APCs were determined. Results: Upon transfusion of fresh allogeneic RBCs, multiple APCs consumed transfused RBCs. However, only CD8+ and CD11b+ dendritic cells formed productive immunological synapses with allogeneic T cells and stimulated proliferation. Importantly, allogeneic T cell activation and RBC alloantibody production occurred in response to RBC transfusion alone, and transfusion in the context of inflammation enhanced RBC consumption, the number of immune synapses, allogeneic T cell proliferation, and the rate and magnitude of alloantibody production. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that regardless of the ability to participate in RBC consumption, only a subset of APCs are capable of forming an immune synapse with T cells thereby initiating an alloantibody response. Additionally, these data provide mechanistic insight into RBC alloantibody generation.