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HLA and HPA matched platelets for platelet refractoriness

Published on 10 October 2019

Platelet transfusion refractoriness may result from immune or non-immune platelet destruction.

Targets for clinically relevant platelet alloantibodies that can cause immune platelet refractoriness include:

  • human leukocyte antigens (HLA) class I
  • human platelet antigens (HPA) or in some cases high titre ABO blood group antibodies

Our lab investigates the presence of alloantibodies against HLA class I or HPA.

You should be aware that HPA antibodies in the absence of HLA class I antibodies are a rare cause of platelet refractoriness.

Making an initial request

For an initial request for HLA or HPA matched platelets you must complete our initial request form and discuss it with the Blood Tranfusion Service (BTS) or haematology registrar.

Download our initial request form (Word doc, 224KB).

Sample requirements

For initial testing:

  • 5ml ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) for HLA typing
  • 5ml clotted for HLA antibody screening

For patients already receiving support:

  • 5ml clotted for HLA/HPA antibody screening

Platelet provision

Depending on the antibody and typing results, both HLA class I and HPA compatible platelets can be provided.

Provision of HLA or HPA matched platelets depends on:

  1. Exclusion of non-immune causes of platelet refractoriness.
  2. Platelet refractoriness to ABO compatible single donor platelets on two or more occasions.
  3. Positivity for HLA class I and HPA antibodies.

A search is performed on all blood donors suitable to donate apheresis platelets who have been HLA class I and HPA typed.

If compatible HLA or HPA platelets are required, you should inform our lab and the BTS or haematology registrar as soon as possible — it can take time to call in specific donors and perform mandatory donor testing before platelets can be released.

Post infusion of HLA compatible platelets

In order to monitor the effectiveness of selected donations it is important to receive a platelet count after the transfusion.

Download our HLA selected platelets follow up form (Word doc, 60KB).

The form can be emailed back to our lab.