KELL BLOOD GROUP ANTIGENS IN THE BLOOD DONORS ATTENDING BLOOD BANKS OF TERTIARY CARE HOSPITALS OF LAHORE, PAKISTAN.
Introduction: Among the complications of blood transfusion, Hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTRs) and Hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN) are particularly important. Literature reports frequency of HTRs and related mortality up to 1/76,000 and 1/1.8 million units transfused respectively. These hemolytic reactions are caused by incompatibility between the donor and recipient blood and in cases of HDN, due to feto-maternal incompatibility due to maternal antibodies attacking the fetal red cells. Anti-K antibody is the most common antibody encountered in blood banks after the ABO and Rh antibodies. So routine screening and matching of these blood antigens along with ABO and Rh can further reduce the risk of HTRs and HDN. Existing literature on Kell blood system reports varying frequency of K and k antigens among various populations. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of Kell blood group antigens in the blood donor population at Shaikh Zayed and Jinnah Hospitals Lahore and the association of Kell blood group antigens with different ABO blood groups of Lahore population. Study Design: It is a descriptive cross-sectional study. Setting: Research was conducted at the Blood banks of Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore and Jinnah Hospital, Lahore. Period: 6 months after the approval of synopsis from 15/06/2015 to 15/12/2015. Material and Methods: This study included 192 donors; 96 from Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore and 96 from Jinnah Hospital, Lahore. A written informed consent was taken from every donor. Kell blood group antigens K and k were determined. Results: There were 192 donors, 96 each from Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore and Jinnah Hospital, Lahore. Out of these donors 186 (96.9%) were males and 6 (3.1%) were females. The most frequent ABO blood group antigen observed was B, which was seen in 82 (42.7%) donors, followed by O in 68 (35.4%), A in 36 (18.8%) and AB in 06 (3.1%) donors. Kell antigen k was found in 185 (96.3%) donors while K was found in 07 (3.6%) donors. When stratified, there was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of Kell antigens between genders (p=0.08) and ABO blood groups (0.09). The frequency of k antigen was higher among those with blood group B (43.2% vs. 17.8%) as compared to A, and the frequency of K antigen was higher among those with blood group A (42.8% vs. 28.5%) as compared to B, however, this was statistically insignificant. Conclusion: The frequency of k was observed to be 96.3%. It was higher in donors with antigen B while the frequency of K was found to be 3.6% and it was higher in donors with antigen A.