Special blood tests, called Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) typing, determine whether a patient has a suitable donor for stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant. HLA typing is increasingly done using DNA techniques and can take several days to complete.
HLA typing is used to identify the best donor for a transplant recipient. In the best case scenario the donor will have the exact HLA antigens as the recipient. The risk of transplant rejection is lessened for well-matched donor-recipient pairs. Certain diseases are associated with particular HLA types. For example, a person with narcolepsy is likely to have HLA-DQ6 antigens. HLA typing can help a physician differentiate narcolepsy from other sleep disorders.
HLA testing is performed on a sample of blood. An individual's HLA typing can be determined by testing the HLA proteins on the surface of white blood cells or by testing DNA from the same cells.
Histocompatibility refers to the quality or state of being histo-or tissue-compatible. This term is used in transplantation to describe the similarity of HLA antigens of a recipient and the tissue donor. The more HLA antigens shared between a recipient and donor, the better the potential outcome of the transplantation. For bone marrow transplantation, a near-perfect match is required whereas for kidney transplantation, a lesser match can result in a successful, functioning transplant. For bone marrow transplantation, the blood group of the donor is not important. In fact, after bone marrow transplantation, the patient will have the donor's blood type.
The HLA-Vascular Biology Laboratory at Franciscan Health Indianapolis is internationally recognized for its research and clinical testing expertise in the evolving relationship between disease and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies.
The HLA-Vascular Biology Laboratory performs state-of-the-art histocompatibility testing for Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Please contact the HLA Vascular-Biology Laboratory for information about how to order testing for bone marrow transplant recipients and donors.