Korean J Blood Transfus.  2009 Aug;20(2):120-128.

The Frequency and Distribution of Unexpected Red Cell Antibodies at National Cancer Center

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Research Institute & Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea. ksy@ncc.re.kr
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Information Technology Team, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.


Performing antibody screening and identification tests before blood transfusion are important since unexpected red cell antibodies can cause acute or delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions. We investigated the frequency and distribution of unexpected red cell antibodies that were detected in cancer patients at National Cancer Center (NCC) and we compared our results with the previously published data.
From January 2001 to June 2009, 56,660 sera of the cases from NCC were screened and 197 sera were identified with using the Ortho BioVue System (Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Raritan, USA) and the conventional tube method. In case of the presence of autoantibody, the ZZAP method was performed to distinguish alloantibody from autoantibody.
759 cases (1.34%) showed positive results out of all 56,660 cases that underwent unexpected antibodies screening. Among them, unexpected antibodies were identified in 197 cases. The most frequently detected antibody was anti-Le(a) in 62 cases (31.47%), followed by anti-E in 32 cases (16.24%) and anti-Le(b) in 18 cases (9.14%). Unidentified antibodies were detected in 43 cases (21.83%). In the cases with a previous history of transfusion at the NCC and the screening results were altered from negative to positive, anti-E was the most frequently detected antibody (8/30 cases, 26.67%), and this included the mixed antibodies.
Compared with the previous reports, this study showed that the frequency and distribution of the unexpected red cell antibodies of cancer patients were not different from those of general patients. Moreover, there was no apparent difference of frequency of the unexpected red cell antibodies among the diagnosed cancers. Our research may provide data for the frequency and characteristics of red cell antibodies because we targeted only cancer patients.


Unexpected antibody; Cancer patients; Frequency; Distribution

MeSH Terms

Blood Group Incompatibility
Blood Transfusion
Mass Screening
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