Comparison of the performance of four microtube column agglutination systems in the detection of red cell alloantibodies

Department of Transfusion Medicine and Hemostaseology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.
Transfusion (Impact Factor: 3.57). 11/1999; 39(10):1045-50. DOI: 10.1046/j.1537-2995.1999.39101045.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of four currently available microtube column agglutination systems in the detection of red cell alloantibodies to that of the standard tube low-ionic-strength solution (LISS) indirect antiglobulin test (IAT) (tube LISS-IAT).
In a comparative study, 172 sera, previously demonstrated to contain red cell alloantibodies, were tested in parallel by the tube LISS-IAT and three microtube column agglutination techniques (DiaMed-ID, Ortho BioVue, and Sanofi-Pasteur Scangel) and one affinity-adherence test system (Gamma ReACT). Tests were performed simultaneously by a single person on freshly thawed sera that had been frozen at -20 degrees C.
The rate of detection of clinically significant alloantibodies (n = 154) in microtube column systems was very similar. One hundred forty-one sera (91.6%) reacted in the DiaMed-ID, 139 (90.3%) in the ReACT, 139 (90.3%) in the BioVue, and 142 (92.2%) in the Scangel. Only 117 (76.0%) of these sera reacted in the tube LISS-IAT. The detection rates for 18 antibodies of minor clinical significance (anti-M, -N, -P1, -Le(a), and -Le(b)) varied among the test systems: DiaMed-ID, 5 (28%); ReACT, 7 (39%); BioVue, 14 (78%); Scangel, 10 (56%); and tube LISS-IAT, 6 (33%). Antibody reactivity as determined by titer and score was very similar in all microtube column systems and higher in these systems than in the tube LISS-IAT.
The sensitivity of all four microtube column systems in the detection of clinically significant red cell alloantibodies was similar and was markedly superior to that of the tube LISS-IAT. An individual cost-benefit analysis should be performed in every institution to decide whether a microtube column system should be applied. If so, the antibody screen in the microtube column agglutination system should ideally be performed in advance of the crossmatch to provide time to screen for compatible units.

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