Post-transfusion graft-versus-host disease (PTGVHD) has been reported to occur in non-immunosuppressed post-operative patients in Japan.1-3 The incidence of PTGVHD in patients after cardiovascular surgery was estimated by collection of questionnaires from the 137 hospitals in Japan. 96 cases of PTGVHD were identified out of 63,257 patients who had cardiovascular surgery from 1981 to 1986. Blood products administered to these patients and the possibility of transfusion of homozygous blood of a certain HLA antigen to the heterozygote of that HLA antigen were analyzed. Transfusion of fresh blood during and after operation and the high frequencies, in Japanese, of sharing the same HLA haplotypes are the possible causes.
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