Transfusion. 2005 Oct;45(10):1561-7.
A comprehensive analysis of DEL types: partial DEL individuals are prone to anti-D alloimmunization.
Körmöczi GF, Gassner C, Shao CP, Uchikawa M, Legler TJ.
The D antigen of the polymorphic Rh blood group system is of particular clinical importance regarding transfusion- and pregnancy-induced alloimmunization. Different RhD variants with specific clinical implications have been characterized. The least expressed D variants collectively called DEL are serologically detectable only by adsorption-elution techniques, with so far only poorly defined antigenic properties.
Study design and methods
A comprehensive immunohematologic analysis of five of the six currently known DEL genotypes was performed. DEL phenotypes associated with the RHD(M295I), RHD(IVS3+1g>a), RHD(K409K), RHD(X418L), or RHD(IVS5-38del4) allele were characterized with extended serology and flow cytometry.
Epitope mapping with adsorption-elution revealed a prominent D epitope loss in the RHD(IVS3+1g>a)-associated DEL phenotype, whereas in the other four DEL types no signs of qualitative D antigen alteration were detected. The observation of alloanti-D in two RHD(IVS3+1g>a) cases confirmed the partial nature of this DEL phenotype. The RHD(M295I) phenotype exhibited the highest D antigen expression among all investigated DEL types, as determined by a semiquantitative adsorption-elution approach and flow cytometry.
In conclusion, evidence is provided that different DEL genotypes code either for partial or complete D antigen expression and that this finding is clinically relevant.