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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 307093, 12 pages
Review Article

Initiation and Regulation of Complement during Hemolytic Transfusion Reactions

1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3Department of Pediatrics, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
4Puget Sound Blood Center Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98102, USA

Received 7 July 2012; Accepted 7 September 2012

Academic Editor: Michael A. Flierl

Copyright © 2012 Sean R. Stowell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hemolytic transfusion reactions represent one of the most common causes of transfusion-related mortality. Although many factors influence hemolytic transfusion reactions, complement activation represents one of the most common features associated with fatality. In this paper we will focus on the role of complement in initiating and regulating hemolytic transfusion reactions and will discuss potential strategies aimed at mitigating or favorably modulating complement during incompatible red blood cell transfusions.