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November 26, 1982

Immunohematologic Diseases

JAMA. 1982;248(20):2677-2682. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330200101019

IMMUNE DISEASES INVOLVING RBCs  NEARLY 400 different blood group antigens have been identified on the red cell membrane by their corresponding antibodies. As a result of this heterogeneity, the antigenic makeup of each individual's red cell is unique. Fortunately, most of these antigens are not highly immunogenic, otherwise blood transfusion would be impossible. For practical purposes, only the antigens of the ABO system and the D antigen in the Rh system are matched routinely.

ABO Blood Group System  Landsteiner published his discovery of the ABO blood group system in 1901; he had noted that serum from some of his laboratory employees would agglutinate red cells of other laboratory workers. Later, people were assigned to four categories that became known as the A, B, 0, and AB blood groups (Table 10-1). By about 6 months of age, normal persons form antibodies against the antigens of the ABO system that they lack.