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Allergic transfusion reactions from blood components donated by IgA-deficient donors with and without anti-IgA: a comparative retrospective study.

Vox Sanguinis 2010 August 2
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: IgA deficiency is common (1/500) and up to 40% of affected individuals will develop anti-IgA. A few studies suggested that passive transfusion of anti-IgA was not associated with an increased risk of allergic reactions. This study was designed to assess the safety of transfusing blood components containing anti-IgA.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: IgA-deficient blood donors with and without anti-IgA were identified from Héma-Québec's (HQ) computerized database. IgA deficiency was confirmed by an ELISA method and the presence of anti-IgA by a passive hemagglutination assay. Blood donations from IgA-deficient donors issued to hospitals between March 1999 and December 2004 were retrieved. Medical charts of recipients were reviewed for the occurrence of a suspected transfusion reaction. Presence and nature of transfusion reactions were assessed blindly by an adjudicating committee.

RESULTS: A total of 323 IgA-deficient blood products were issued by HQ to 55 hospitals. Of these, 48 agreed to participate [315 blood products (97.5%)]. A total of 272 products were transfused: 174 contained anti-IgA, and 98 did not. Only two minor allergic reactions occurred in each group. Incidence of allergic reactions was 1.15% in the anti-IgA group and 2.04% in the group without anti-IgA (P = 0.91). There was no anaphylactic reaction in either group.

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that the proportion of allergic reactions does not appear to be greater in recipients of blood components containing anti-IgA compared to recipients of non-anti-IgA-containing components. Allowing donations from IgA-deficient donors with anti-IgA may therefore be contemplated.

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