Autoimmune hemolytic anemia and the kell blood groups

Authors

  • W. Laurence Marsh,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center, and the Blood Bank, United Hospital, Port Chester, New York
    • FIMLS, MI Biol, MRC Path, The New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021
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  • Ragnhild Øyen,

    1. Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center, and the Blood Bank, United Hospital, Port Chester, New York
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  • Edith Alicea,

    1. Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center, and the Blood Bank, United Hospital, Port Chester, New York
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  • Meredith Linter,

    1. Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center, and the Blood Bank, United Hospital, Port Chester, New York
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  • Susan Horton

    1. Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute of the New York Blood Center, and the Blood Bank, United Hospital, Port Chester, New York
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Abstract

Approximately one in 250 people with autoimmunity involving their red cells have IgG autoantibodies with specificity in the Kell blood groups. Red cells of these individuals have an acquired temporary weakening of their Kell antigens. Some of the patients also have allo-anti-K in their serum. This report presents a case in which an IgG autoantibody may define a new high-incidence red cell antigen related to the Kell blood groups. The patient's Kell blood group antigens are depressed, and his serum contains allo-anti-K. It is postulated that reduced red cell Kell antigenicity is caused by enzymatic degradation, possibly of bacterial origin, and that the acquired loss of Kell antigens, the Kell-specific autoimmune state, and the serum allo-anti-K, are all related aspects of one phenomenon.

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