HLA-B35 is associated with red cell alloimmunization in sickle cell disease

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HLA-A, -B, -C, and DR antigens were determined in 33 patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), who had received red blood cell (RBC) transfusions. Twenty-one patients formed red cell alloantibodies after transfusions (responders) while 12 multitransfused SCD patients did not form any RBC antibodies (non-responders). We found that 67% of the SCD responder participants had HLA-B35 versus 25% of the non-responders (χ2 = 5.3079, P = 0.0212). The frequency of B35 in non-responder SCD patients was similar to that of a normal healthy Black population consisting of 139 individuals. Calculation of the relative risk showed that sickle cell patients with B35 are six times more likely to form RBC alloantibodies after transfusion than those lacking that HLA antigen. We found no significant increase or association between any HLA-DR antigens and sickle cell disease. © 1986.

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