Survival Time of Cross-Match Incompatible Red Blood Cells in Adult Horses

J. E. Tomlinson, E. Taberner, R. C. Boston, Sean D Owens, R. D. Nolen-Walston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: There is a markedly reduced half-life of transfused RBCs when donor and recipient cats or humans are cross-match incompatible. Only 10-20% of horses have naturally occurring alloantibodies. Therefore, cross-match testing before blood transfusion is not always performed. Hypothesis: Cross-match incompatibility predicts shortened RBC survival time as compared to that of compatible or autologous blood. Animals: Twenty healthy adult horses. Methods: Prospective trial. Blood type, anti-RBC antibody screen (before and 1 month after transfusion) and major and minor cross-match determined 10 donor-recipient pairs. Two pairs were cross-match compatible, the remainder incompatible. Donor blood (4 L) was collected into citrate phosphate dextrose adenine-1, labeled with NHS-biotin, and transfused into recipients. Samples were collected at 1 hour and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after transfusion, and biotinylated RBCs were detected by flow cytometry. Horses were monitored for transfusion reaction during transfusion and daily for 5 days. Results: Cross-match incompatibility was significantly associated with decreased RBC survival time (P <.001). The half-life of transfused incompatible (cross-match >1+) allogenic equine RBCs was 4.7 (95% CI, 3.2-6.2) days versus 33.5 (24-43) days for compatible pairings. Cross-match incompatibility was associated with acute febrile transfusion reaction (P = .0083). At day 30, only 1 horse had developed novel anti-RBC antibodies. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Cross-match incompatibility was predictive of febrile transfusion reaction and shortened transfused RBC survival, but did not result in production of anti-RBC antibodies at 30 days. Cross-match testing before transfusion is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1688
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Agglutination
  • Alloantibodies
  • Blood type
  • Hemolysis
  • Transfusion
  • Transfusion reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Survival Time of Cross-Match Incompatible Red Blood Cells in Adult Horses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this