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AIMS/OBJECTIVES: To explore the impact of Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA)-A and B epitope-matched platelets on the outcome of platelet transfusions in alloimmunised patients with aplastic anaemia (AA). The relevance of HLA-C epitope mismatches was also investigated. BACKGROUND: Patients who become immunologically refractory (IR) to random platelet transfusions can experience an adequate rise in platelet count through the provision of HLA-compatible platelets using an antigen-matching algorithm. This approach has been shown to be effective in patients with a low calculated reaction frequency, but it is not always successful in highly sensitised patients. The use of HLA epitopes-selected platelets has been suggested as an alternative to the antigen matching approach. METHODS: The effect of HLA epitope matching (both Eplets and Triplets) on the outcome of platelet transfusion was analysed in 37 highly immunised AA patients previously transfused with HLA-A and B antigen-matched platelets. Epitope matching was determined using the HLAMatchmaker programme. The outcome of the transfusions was assessed by the platelet count increments (PCIs) obtained 1 h and 24 h post-transfusions. RESULTS: HLA-A and B epitope matching was equivalent to HLA antigen matching in raising platelet counts. There was no significant difference in PCI when HLA-C epitope mismatches were considered. In addition, transfusions with fewer than two antigen mismatches resulted in significantly higher PCIs compared to transfusions with more than two antigen mismatches. CONCLUSIONS: HLA epitope-matched platelet provision may represent a clinically effective transfusion strategy for patients IR to random platelet transfusions. Further prospective studies are required.

Original publication




Journal article


Transfus Med

Publication Date



Eplets, HLA, HLAMatchmaker, aplastic anaemia, transfusion, triplets