Anti-IgA Antibodies

Approximately 1 in 600 people are deficient in IgA. Such persons may form anti-IgA antibodies following exposure to foreign IgA in transfused plasma. An anaphylactic transfusion reaction is caused by reaction of IgA in a blood component with anti-IgA antibodies in the recipient’s serum. The anaphylactic reaction is characterized by abrupt hypertension followed by profound hypotension, asthma, and gastrointestinal symptoms, without fever. Performing quantitative IgA levels on the patient’s serum facilitates in making the diagnosis. If the patient is IgA deficient, the serum can be further tested for anti-IgA antibodies.

Transfusing washed red blood cells and platelets can prevent future anaphylactic reactions. Fresh frozen plasma must be obtained from IgA deficient donors.

Specimen requirement is one red top or SST tube

Reference value is negative.

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