BACKGROUND: Patients refractory for platelet transfusions benefit from human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched platelet transfusions. Differences in ethnic background of patients and donors could hamper the availability of sufficient numbers of HLA-matched donors for all patients. We evaluated our HLA-matched donor program and explored the role of ethnic background of patients related to the number of available donors. METHODS: We performed a cohort study among consecutive patients who received HLA-matched platelet concentrates in the Netherlands between 1994 and 2017. The number of available matched donors was determined per patient. Haplotypes were constructed from genotypes with computer software (PyPop). Based on haplotypes, HaploStats, an algorithm from the National Marrow Donor Program, was used to assess the most likely ethnic background for patients with 5 or fewer and 30 or more donors. RESULTS: HLA typing was available for 19,478 donors in September 2017. A total of 1206 patients received 12,350 HLA-matched transfusions. A median of 83 (interquartile range, 18-266) donors were available per patient. For 95 (10.3%) patients, 5 or fewer donors were available. These patients were more likely to have an African American background, whereas patients with 30 or more donors were more often from Caucasian origin, compared with Caucasian origin for patients with 30 donors. CONCLUSION: Adequate transfusion support could be guaranteed for most but not all refractory patients. More non-Caucasian donors are required to ensure the availability of HLA-matched donors for all patients in the Netherlands.

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Journal Transfusion
Kreuger, A.L. (Aukje L.), Haasnoot, G.W, Somers, J.A.E, Tomson, B. (Bert), van der Bon, J.G. (Johanna G.), van Kraaij, M.G.J. (Marian G.J.), & Weller, C.M. (Claudia M.). (2020). Ensuring HLA-matched platelet support requires an ethnic diverse donor population. Transfusion, 60(5), 940–946. doi:10.1111/trf.15728