The blood bank and transfusion services play an important role in numerous clinical situations, including testing of serial antibody titers (IgM and IgG) for solid-organ transplant, monitoring of hemolytic anemias, and in obstetrics population for detection of maternal alloantibodies among others. Prenatal antibody titers are important among others in obstetric patients with red blood cell anti-D alloimmunization for diagnosis and monitoring of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). Methods to perform this testing need to be precise to add reproducibility to the critical titer interpretation.

During this episode, Dr. Claudia Cohn will provide background on the role of antibody titers for diagnosis and monitoring performed in the transfusion medicine lab and its clinical applications.

About Our Speaker:

Dr. Claudia Cohn

Medical Director of the blood bank laboratory and Associate Medical Director

University of Minnesota

Dr. Claudia S. Cohn is the medical director of the blood bank laboratory and associate medical director of the HLA laboratory at University of Minnesota.  She earned her PhD in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, working on the molecular biology and biochemistry of the protozoal; parasite Leishmania donovani. She went on to earn her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. After medical school she finished a residency program in Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell College of Medicine and a fellowship in Transfusion Medicine at University of California, San Francisco.  In her current role at University of Minnesota she practices Clinical Pathology, oversees the blood bank, and teaches medical students.  Dr. Cohn’s research interests include platelet transfusions, alternative platelet storage solutions, HLA antibodies and their role in solid organ transplants and platelet refractoriness. She focuses her efforts in two areas: patient blood management and platelet storage and utilization. Dr. Cohn was named in 2020 chief medical officer (CMO) for the AABB organization where she works to strategize and implement ways that achieve AABB’s mission through the development of policies and by engaging the communities it serves. 

What you will learn:

  •  An overview of the clinical applications of antibody titers assay
  •  Why precision is important in the diagnosis and monitoring of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN)
  •  What is inter- and intra-laboratory variability in ABO and minor red-blood-cell titer results