-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
-Asterisk * with author name denotes a Non-ASH member
Clinically Relevant Abstract denotes an abstract that is clinically relevant.

PhD Trainee denotes that this is a recommended PHD Trainee Session.

Ticketed Session denotes that this is a ticketed session.

1821 Alkaline Phosphatase Is Associated with Red Cell Alloimmunization in the Pulmonary Hypertension and Hypoxic Response (PUSH) Sickle Cell Disease Cohort

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 401. Basic Science and Clinical Practice in Blood Transfusion: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
sickle cell disease, Adult, Diseases, Pediatric, Hemoglobinopathies, Study Population, Clinically relevant
Sunday, December 6, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Victoria Brooks, BS1*, Oluwalonimi Adebowale, BS2, Victor R. Gordeuk, MD3, Sergei Nekhai, PhD4 and James G. Taylor, MD5

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology/Center for Sickle Cell Disease, Howard University, Washington, DC
2Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC
3Sickle Cell Center, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
4Center for Sickle Cell Disease and Department of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, DC
5Center for Sickle Cell Disease, Howard University, Washington, DC

Background: Blood transfusion is a common therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD). Although, highly effective, a major limitation is development of alloantibodies to minor blood group antigens on donor red cells. Alloimmunization has a prevalence of 2-5% for transfusions in the general population, but it is significantly higher in SCD. Risk factors for alloimmunization have been poorly characterized, although number of lifetime transfusions is an important risk factor. Alloimmunization has been clinically observed in children with a prevalence of about 7%. With development of each antibody, blood donor matching becomes increasingly difficult and expensive with an increased risk for transfusion reactions and diminished availability of compatible red cell units for treatment of SCD. The ability to identify risk factors for developing alloantibodies would be beneficial for clinicians. To identify markers for alloimmunization in SCD, we have analyzed children and adults who developed this complication.

Methods: We analyzed The Pulmonary Hypertension and Hypoxic Response in Sickle Cell Disease (PUSH) study, which enrolled n=468 pediatric and n=59 adult SCD subjects. In both children and adults, alloimmunization cases were defined as a history of at least 1 alloantibody. Controls in both cohorts were defined as subjects with no history of alloantibodies and receipt of more than 10 lifetime red cell transfusions. All others within the study who did not meet these criteria were assigned to a third comparison group. To identify differences between cases, controls and all others, we performed univariate analyses (using ANOVA or Kruskal Wallace where appropriate) for clinical parameters and laboratories. Case control comparisons were also performed for selected variables and plasma levels for 11 cytokines. Results were further analyzed using regression modeling.

Results: The overall prevalence of alloimmunization was 7.3% among children (34/468 subjects; median age 12, range 3-20 years) compared to 28.8% in adults (17/59 subjects; median age 37, range 18-73 years). When only considering those with >10 lifetime transfusions, the prevalence was considerably higher at 29.3% and 54.8% in children and adults, respectively. At the same time, 8 pediatric (23.5%) and 5 adult (29.4%) alloimmunization cases had received fewer than 10 transfusions. In a 3-way pediatric cohort comparison (cases, controls and all others), risk factors associated with alloimmunization included SS genotype, older age and markers of more severe disease (higher ferritin, WBCs, platelets and total bilirubin). Comparison of cases to controls showed alkaline phosphatase (P=0.05) was significantly lower in cases, whereas AST (P=0.02) was significantly higher even with adjustment for age. Levels of plasma cytokines MCP-1 (P=0.01) and IFNgamma (P=0.08) were lower in cases from a subset of the pediatric cohort. In adults, only 4/59 (6.8%) subjects had never received a lifetime transfusion (all non-SS). In the adult 3-way comparisons, only SS genotype and higher ferritin were associated with alloimmunization. The adult case control analysis showed higher absolute monocyte count (P=0.02), absolute eosinophil count (P=0.04) and absolute basophil count (P=0.008) in association with alloimmunization cases. In addition, alkaline phosphatase was again significantly lower among cases (P=0.02) as seen in the pediatric cohort. There were no significant differences in cytokine levels among adults.

Conclusions: When considering only transfused SCD patients, the prevalence of alloimmunization is higher than 30%. As seen in prior studies, higher lifetime red cell transfusions are an important risk factor especially among adults where most patients have received transfusions. Children who develop alloantibodies appear to have laboratory markers of more severe disease, but this is not observed in adults. A novel association observed across both pediatric and adult subjects is a significantly lower serum alkaline phosphatase in those with alloantibodies. The results of this study suggest a need for improved tracking of red cell transfusion therapy in the US for SCD patients due to a high prevalence of alloimmunization. Further study is also needed to elucidate the significance of the alkaline phosphatase association.

Disclosures: Gordeuk: CSL Behring: Consultancy, Research Funding; Global Blood Therapeutics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy; Ironwood: Research Funding; Imara: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH