Transfusion-related lung injury in children: a case series and review of the literature
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the leading cause of transfusion-related mortality. The majority of the literature involves adult patients. The main objective of this study was to characterize the demographic features, clinical presentation, patient outcomes, and antibody profiles of TRALI patients reported to the Canadian Blood Service (CBS) and to assess similarities and differences between adult and pediatric TRALI cases.
Study Design and Methods
A retrospective review of cases of TRALI submitted to the CBS from 2001 to 2011 was performed. Information collected included recipient demographics, event details, blood component transfused, morbidity and mortality data, and donor antibody results.
A total of 284 cases of definite, possible, or probable TRALI were reported. Six percent (n = 17) occurred in children. There were no significant differences between pediatric or adult patients with TRALI. Most of the children who presented with TRALI were either teenagers or less than 1 year of age. The incident rate of reported TRALI cases in Canada per 100,000 red blood cell transfusions was estimated at 5.58 for children and 3.75 for adults.
This study is the largest case series of reported TRALI cases in children. Crude modeling suggests that the incidence of TRALI in children is similar to that of adults. Although the numbers are small, there do not appear to be differences in presentation or outcome between adults and children with TRALI. TRALI is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and pediatricians need to consider this diagnosis in children who experience respiratory distress after transfusions.