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November 1963

Kell Incompatibility With Acute Renal Failure

Author Affiliations


Director, Clinical Research Center, Passavant Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University (Dr. del Greco); Fellow in Medicine, Passavant Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School (Dr. Kurtides).

From Department of Medicine, Passavant Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(5):727-730. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860050114012

Since the discovery of the Kell factor by Coombs et al1 several cases of transfusion reaction caused by anti-Kell antibodies have been reported.2 In six patients the reaction was followed by acute renal failure 2-6 which was fatal in two.2,6 It is noteworthy that these reactions might have been prevented had tests for identifying anti-Kell antibodies properly been performed.

The case described herein represents another example of acute renal failure precipitated by the administration of Kellpositive blood to a previously sensitized Kellnegative subject.

Report of a Case  A 56-year-old Caucasian male contractor was referred to Passavant Memorial Hospital on April 11, 1962, for evaluation and management of oliguria of 96 hours' duration. Eleven days prior to referral he had been admitted to a local hospital with melena and hematemesis. The hemoglobin on admission was 12.1 gm% but dropped to 8.8 mg% on the third day at which