Prozone rates in the solid?phase platelet crossmatch assay and correlation with class I HLA antibody levels


Solid-phase platelet crossmatch (PXM) testing is used to help manage patients with platelet transfusion-refractoriness. Recently, we published the first report of false-negative PXM results from prozone effect that was mitigated using sample dilution. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of PXM prozone effect and the levels of class I HLA antibodies (HLA-Abs) associated with positive PXM results and with false-negative PXM results from prozone effect.

Study Design and Methods

A cross-sectional study of patients undergoing PXM testing from July 2019 through December 2020 was performed. All PXM tests were run simultaneously using undiluted and 1:4 diluted patient plasma. Prozone effect was defined as a negative PXM result using undiluted patient plasma but a positive PXM result using 1:4 diluted patient plasma.


Among 59 patients, 830 individual ABO-compatible PXM results yielded an overall positivity rate of 25.8% (214/830) and a false-negative rate from prozone effect of 4.7% (10/214). Among the 28 patients with class I HLA-Ab testing and no other anti-platelet antibodies, maximum HLA-Ab mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) was significantly associated with a positive PXM result (p?<?.0001; AUC approx. 0.9) and categorized into negative (<3700), indeterminate (3700–10300), and positive (>10300) maximum HLA-Ab MFI zones. Maximum HLA-Ab MFI, however, was not associated with prozone effect (p = .17; AUC approx. 0.6).


While there is a strong predictive association between class I HLA-Ab levels and positive PXM results, PXM prozone effect is a common occurrence not associated with class I HLA-Ab levels, so additional testing with diluted samples should be considered.