STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: When an Rh-negative patient (male or female) had a reactive screening test for unexpected antibodies and met certain other criteria, the patient's serum was tested with a three-vial set of Rh-negative reagent red cells (Rh-negative screening RBCs), instead of with panels of typed RBCs (panel RBCs), for the identification of anti-D or the detection of non-D antibodies. If the serum under test did not agglutinate or hemolyze Rh-negative screening RBCs, anti-D was identified and no further testing was performed. If the serum agglutinated or hemolyzed Rh-negative screening RBCs, conventional testing with panel RBCs was done to determine the antibody specificity.
RESULTS: Rh-negative patients (n = 1174) who had reactive screening tests for unexpected antibodies were tested with Rh-negative screening RBCs; 1079 were found to have anti-D as a single antibody. Seven of these patients subsequently developed a non-D alloantibody, after transfusion or pregnancy, and one patient had anti-C that escaped detection at the time of initial testing with Rh-negative RBCs (a false-negative result). Ninety-two patients had anti-D in combination with a non-D antibody, and three patients had a non-D antibody but not anti-D. Use of the anti-D identification protocol actually reduced the laboratory workload by 176 College of American Pathologists workload units per month, in spite of a marked increase in the number of patients in whom anti-D was detected. No hemolytic transfusion reaction was attributed to the abbreviation of anti-D identification.
CONCLUSION: The identification of anti-D may be abbreviated without jeopardizing patient safety. Such a protocol can reduce laboratory workload and might be particularly appealing to health care facilities that perform antibody detection testing on large numbers of Rh-negative pregnant women, especially if antepartum RhIG is administered routinely.
|RhIg as a source of passive anti-D|