Ask The Experts!
Your Immunohematology Questions Answered!
This section of the site is devoted to detailed answers to common immunohematology questions we receive. We hope that what you find here will be helpful to you in daily work as well as exam preparation. The Ask the Experts team, (in cooperation with site creator Joe Chaffin), is responsible for the content here.
Below is a sampling of the questions and answers you will find in this area. The full listing is in the sidebar at the right.
Anti-G is Confusing!
"I read about anti-G being different from anti-D and -C, but it all just seems confusing to me. Can you help me understand?"
One of the most frequently asked questions I get at lectures and from testing clients goes something like this: "What the HECK (or words to that effect) is anti-G?!" This post, originally from the BBGuy blog, tries to answer that question...(Click here for more)
Anti-f: What's the Deal?
"Can you please explain anti-f to me? I am having a difficult time understanding this antibody."
Anti-f can be a difficult antibody to understand and yet, given the fact that it’s directed against an Rh system antigen, it’s one we do have to treat seriously...(Click here for more)
Is Tube Testing Obsolete?
"I work at a mid-size hospital transfusion service that switched to the gel platform for pretransfusion testing about ten years ago. I have also worked at other places that use solid-phase testing. I don’t understand why our reference lab insists on using tube testing when we send them cases with positive results in gel or solid-phase! Isn’t tube testing out-of-date and obsolete? Why doesn’t everyone use 'modern' technology?"
Thanks for your great question! I believe that there are many reasons why the work of a reference lab is not well-suited to the gel or solid phase platforms, or really to automation of any kind. In my view, these reasons (discussed below) do not indicate that we reference lab geeks do not have our heads buried firmly in...um, the sand! (Click here for more)
What the Heck is Anti-Yta??
"What is anti-Yta and what does it mean for the patient? I've been in blood banking for 47 years and never experienced this 'beast!'"
The thing that makes anti-Yta so tricky is it characteristically can be composed of a variety of IgG subclasses. Specifically, there seems to be some correlation to greater clinical significance when an anti-Yta is mostly IgG1 or all IgG1...(Click here for more)
Cold Agglutinins in Gel Testing
"Cold Auto Agglutinins will often test positive for all cells in the gel panel, but the auto control is negative. With warm autos the same is true except the auto control is positive. Why?"
I believe the answer to this question has to do with the fact that not all “cold auto agglutinins” are autoantibodies, while what we call “warm autos” are always autoantibodies...(Click here for more)