Incidence and predictive score for delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction in adult patients with sickle cell disease

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Abstract

Delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction (DHTR) is a life-threatening complication of transfusion in sickle cell disease (SCD). The frequency of DHTR is underestimated because its symptoms mimic those of vaso-occlusive crisis and antibodies (Abs) are often not detectable. No predictive factors for identifying patients likely to develop DHTR have yet been defined. We conducted a prospective single-center observational study over 30 months in adult sickle cell patients. We included 694 transfusion episodes (TEs) in 311 patients, divided into occasional TEs (OTEs: 360) and chronic transfusion program (CTEs: 334). During follow-up, 15 cases of DHTR were recorded, exclusively after OTEs. DHTR incidence was 4.2% per OTE (95% CI [2.6; 6.9]) and 6.8% per patient during the 30 months of the study (95% CI [4.2; 11.3]). We studied 11 additional DHTR cases, to construct a predictive score for DHTR. The DHTR mortality is high, 3 (11.5%) of the 26 DHTR patients died. The variables retained in the multivariate model were history of DHTR, number of units previously transfused and immunization status before transfusion. The resulting DHTR-predictive score had an area under the ROC curve of 0.850 [95% CI: 0.780-0.930], a negative-predictive value of 98.4% and a positive-predictive value of 50%. We report in our study population, for the first time, the incidence of DHTR, and, its occurrence exclusively in occasionally transfused patients. We also describe a simple score for predicting DHTR in patients undergoing occasional transfusion, to facilitate the management of blood transfusion in SCD patients.

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