IBGRL Red Cell Reference

      

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Red Cell Reference

The International Rare Donor Panel 

Molecular Diagnostics User Guides Sending Samples to Red Cell Reference

 

  Red Cell Reference

The Red Cell Reference Department deals exclusively in complex and difficult red cell antigen/antibody problems. These problems take the form of:

  • Antibody identification when the referring laboratory has been unable to elucidate a serological incompatibility. These are usually from patients whose sera react with all red cells and for whom a compatible donor is difficult or impossible to find. The reactions may be due to a complex mixture of antibodies or to the presence of an antibody to a high incidence antigen produced by a patient with a rare red cell phenotype. Sometimes both occur in the same patient. when the referring laboratory has been unable to elucidate a serological incompatibility. These are usually from patients whose sera react with all red cells and for whom a compatible donor is difficult or impossible to find. The reactions may be due to a complex mixture of antibodies or to the presence of an antibody to a high incidence antigen produced by a patient with a rare red cell phenotype. Sometimes both occur in the same patient.

  • Antibody confirmation when the referring laboratory needs verification of an antibody specificity which is suspected but not proven. Cells with rare types are needed to exclude the presence of underlying antibodies to ‘routine’ blood groups.

  • elucidation of rare or novel blood group antigens on the red cells of patients or donors. When confirmed, donors may be registered for the National or International Rare Donor Panels or provide rare cells for exchange schemes. 

  • Identification of low incidence antigens responsible for haemolytic disease of the newborn or crossmatch incompatibility.

Clinical Usefulness

Antibody identification may suggest potential clinical significance or act as a guide to the likely availability of compatible donors at a local level or via the National or International Rare Donor Panels.

Techniques

Techniques used as an adjunct to serology in difficult cases include MAIEA, flow cytometry, molecular biology and immunoblotting.

 

     

Referring Investigations

Red cell serology services are provided to UK Blood Centres and to bona fide reference centres outside the UK. Centres wishing to refer for the first time must contact IBGRL to discuss the appropriateness of the proposed investigation.

Click here for further details on how to refer samples for investigation

 

Who We Are

The Red Cell Reference Department of the IBGRL undertakes antibody and antigen investigations of a ‘non-routine’ and complex nature.
Antibody investigations normally involve a rare phenotype or a complex mixture of antibodies (or both) where compatible blood would be difficult to find.

Red cell antigen investigations may be carried out on all blood group systems where determination of phenotype is difficult or an uncommon polymorphism is suspected.

The laboratory has a unique collection of over 4000 rare typing sera and 2000 rare red cells. This enables the laboratory to solve the most complex serological problems.

One-half of referrals are from specialist centres in Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. In collaboration with workers around the world, the laboratory continues to make important discoveries in the field of human blood groups. The laboratory also maintains the National and International Panels of Rare Donors.