Transfusion-related acute lung injury caused by two donors with anti-human leucocyte antigen class II antibodies: a look-back investigation

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Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is considered as one of the most important complications of blood transfusion. Previous look-back investigations have revealed unrecognized cases.

We report two cases of TRALI in brief and the outcomes of transfusion in the recipients of previous components from the implicated donors. This look-back investigation was a retrospective case-note study assessing whether there were any untoward events associated with the previous transfusions.

18 patients were identified as having received a blood component transfusion from one of the two donors with anti-human leucocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies to antigens occurring frequently in the local population. One of the five patients receiving a unit of fresh frozen plasma had an evidence of TRALI, which was not diagnosed at the time. A second patient, who had been HLA typed and who carried a full match of antigens for the antibody specificities of the plasma received, had no evidence of a reaction. There were no documented reactions in 13 recipients of red cells in optimal additive (OA) solution.

Cases of TRALI may go unrecognized. Not all patients with antibody/antigen concordance will develop clinical signs. Red cells in OA solution from donors with anti-HLA antibodies appear to have a low risk of causing clinically evident lung damage.

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