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March 27, 1967

Elements of Blood Group Nomenclature With Special Reference to the Rh-Hr Blood Types

Author Affiliations

From the Serological Laboratory of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, Department of Forensic Medicine of the New York University School of Medicine, and the Division of Immunohematology of the Jewish and Adelphi hospitals of Brooklyn, NY.

JAMA. 1967;199(13):985-989. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120130071012

The difficulties of Wiener's Rh-Hr nomenclature have frequently been emphasized, and many workers in the field have been led to use the Fisher-Race C-D-E notations on the grounds that the latter are self-explanatory and simpler to use and teach. Actually, any problem which may exist is not with the Rh-Hr nomenclature but with the subject matter, which is indeed complex. The Rh-Hr nomenclature is by no means as difficult as has been claimed; in fact, by using the Rh-Hr nomenclature workers can gain insight into the subject such as is not possible with the C-D-E notations. In this article, therefore, I propose to explain some of the principles underlying blood grouping nomenclature in general, and Rh-Hr nomenclature in particular, and shall demonstrate how the use of the most appropriate nomenclature facilitates one's mastery of what may appear to be a complex subject.

If asked to list the digits, one would