Background: Maternal alloantibodies may have devastating effects on the fetal red cells leading to hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). The purpose of this study was to observe the prevalence and specificity of red cell alloantibodies in untransfused multiparous women.
Methods: This study was conducted at the Baqai Institute of Hematology, Baqai Medical University and Husaini blood bank Karachi, Pakistan. Blood samples were collected and analyzed using Bio-Rad/DiaMed reagents to determine the frequency of alloantibodies in 1,000 untransfused multiparous females (five or more than five pregnancies) from various hospitals and maternity centers of Karachi.
Results: In this study, red cell alloimmunization was found to be 2.8% in the studied population. Detected antibodies include anti D (28.6%), anti C (3.6%), both anti D and anti C (7.1%), anti c (3.6%), anti E (7.1%), anti K (14.3%), anti Fya (3.6%), anti M (7.1%), anti S (7.1%), anti Lea (3.6%), anti Leb (7.1%), and nonspecific cold antibodies (7.1%).
Conclusions: Various clinically significant and cold type red cell alloantibodies were detected in this study. It is suggested that studies should be done from the first to the fifth pregnancy as the chances of developing alloantibodies increases with increase in parity up to the 5th gestation and it falls significantly thereafter. Antibody screening and identification of all clinically significant antibodies should be carried out during pregnancy to prevent the fatal complications of HDFN.