Obstetric and Newborn Weak D-Phenotype RBC Testing and Rh Immune Globulin Management Recommendations: Lessons From a Blinded Specimen-Testing Survey of 81 Transfusion Services
Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine
CONTEXT.—: Modern RHD genotyping can be used to determine when patients with serologic weak D phenotypes have RHD gene variants at risk for anti-D alloimmunization. However, serologic testing, RhD interpretations, and laboratory management of these patients are quite variable. OBJECTIVE.—: To obtain interlaboratory comparisons of serologic testing, RhD interpretations, Rh immune globulin (RhIG) management, fetomaternal hemorrhage testing, and RHD genotyping for weak D-reactive specimens. DESIGN.—: We devised an educational exercise in which 81 transfusion services supporting obstetrics performed tube-method RhD typing on 2 unknown red blood cell challenge specimens identified as (1) maternal and (2) newborn. Both specimens were from the same weak D-reactive donor. The exercise revealed how participants responded to these different clinical situations. RESULTS.—: Of reporting laboratories, 14% (11 of 80) obtained discrepant immediate-spin reactions on the 2 specimens. Nine different reporting terms were used to interpret weak D-reactive maternal RhD types to obstetricians. In laboratories obtaining negative maternal immediate-spin reactions, 28% (16 of 57) performed unwarranted antiglobulin testing, sometimes leading to recommendations against giving RhIG. To screen for excess fetomaternal hemorrhage after a weak D-reactive newborn, 47% (34 of 73) of reporting laboratories would have employed a contraindicated fetal rosette test, risking false-negative results and inadequate RhIG coverage. Sixty percent (44 of 73) of laboratories would obtain RHD genotyping in some or all cases. CONCLUSIONS.—: For obstetric and neonatal patients with serologic weak D phenotypes, we found several critical problems in transfusion service laboratory practices. We provide recommendations for appropriate testing, consistent immunohematologic terminology, and RHD genotype-guided management of Rh immune globulin therapy and RBC transfusions.
Ramsey, Glenn; Park, Yara A.; Eder, Anne F.; Bobr, Aleh; Karafin, Matthew S.; Karp, Julie K.; King, Karen E.; Pagano, Monica B.; Schwartz, Joseph; Szczepiorkowski, Zbigniew M.; Souers, Rhona J.; Thomas, Lamont; and Delaney, Meghan, "Obstetric and Newborn Weak D-Phenotype RBC Testing and Rh Immune Globulin Management Recommendations: Lessons From a Blinded Specimen-Testing Survey of 81 Transfusion Services" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 2342.