Korean J Blood Transfus.  2012 Apr;23(1):58-67.

Type Distribution of Unexpected Red Cell Antibodies in Patients with Malignancy

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea. cyhlabo@kcch.re.kr
  • 2University of Science & Technology, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.


Performance of antibody screening and identification tests before blood transfusion is important because the unexpected presence of red cell antibodies may cause hemolytic transfusion reactions. Many patients with malignancy undergo transfusion in order to overcome pancytopenia due to disease itself or chemotherapy. We investigated the type distribution of unexpected red cell antibodies in cancer patients and compared our results with those of other institutions.
From January 2008 to June 2011, 30,989 serum samples were screened using a LISS/Coombs card and ID-DiaCell I, II (DiaMed AG, Morat, Switzerland). Data-Cyte Plus Reagent Red Blood Cells (Medion Diagnostics, Dudingen, Switzerland) were used in performance of antibody identification tests.
Out of 30,989 serum samples, 180 cases (0.58%) showed screening-positive results, and unexpected antibodies were identified in 72 cases. The type of unexpected antibody observed most often in cancer patients was a member of the Rh antibody group, anti-E in 17 cases (29.8%), followed by anti-Lea in five cases (8.8%) and anti-e in three cases (5.3%). While Rh group antibodies were observed in the colon cancer group, non-Rh group antibodies were observed in the rectal cancer group. And, in the genitourinary cancer group, Lewis group antibodies were more frequently detected than others.
Findings from our study demonstrated a type distribution of unexpected red cell antibodies that was similar to those reported in previous studies. Compared with non-cancerous patients, no difference in type distribution of unexpected red cell antibodies was observed in cancer patients. Some antibodies were frequently observed in certain cancer groups. Further comprehensive research on unexpected antibodies based on location or histologic type of cancer is needed.


Unexpected antibodies; Cancer; Antibody screening and identification test

MeSH Terms

Blood Group Incompatibility
Blood Transfusion
Colonic Neoplasms
Mass Screening
Rectal Neoplasms
Urogenital Neoplasms
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