Underdiagnosing of antibody-mediated transfusion-related acute lung injury: evaluation of cellular-based versus bead-based techniques

D. van Stein, E. A. M. Beckers, A. L. Peters, L. Porcelijn, R. A. Middelburg, N. M. Lardy, D. J. van Rhenen, A. P. J. Vlaar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and objectives Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the leading cause of transfusion-related mortality. To support the diagnosis of antibody-mediated TRALI, HLA and HNA antibodies are tested in involved blood donors. Identification of antibody positive donors is important as exclusion of these donors is part of preventative strategies against TRALI. We compared cellular-based versus bead-based techniques for diagnosis of antibody-mediated TRALI. Materials and methods All reported TRALI cases in the Netherlands during a 5-year period were evaluated. Donors were screened for the presence of HLA class I and class II antibodies using both cellular-based and bead-based techniques. Results In total, 100 TRALI cases were reported of which 91 were fully tested. In 113 donors, HLA antibodies were detected of which 84 were only detected by bead-based techniques, 12 only by cellular-based tests and 17 by both assays. Antibody-mediated TRALI was diagnosed in 44 of 91 reported cases. Twenty-one (48%) of these cases would not have been identified using only cellular-based assays. Conclusion Bead-based techniques show a higher sensitivity for detecting incompatible donors in TRALI cases than cellular-based assays. These results suggest that the use of bead-based assays will result in a significant reduction of future TRALI reactions as more antibody positive donors will be excluded from future donations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • bead-based assays
  • cellular-based assays
  • diagnosis
  • HLA antibodies
  • transfusion-related acute lung injury

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