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Blood Groups

I would be interested to hear about other patient's experience of changing blood groups. It still seems strange to me that your donor may have a different blood group to you. I'm A+, I had a double cord blood transplant and the cord units were B- and AB+. I was told that my blood group would change to that of one of the donors. However, three years on, I am still resolutely A+. I read an article in Lymphoma Matters, (Lymphoma Association), written by a young woman who'd had a transplant. She was convinced that it was when her blood group changed that she started feeling better.

Any comments?


  • Hi Sue,

    I don't know how common it is to have a donor from a different blood group as it struck me that one of the first things you would need to match was the blood group? I guess there are other more critical factors that must be matched between donor and recipient as my donor was from a different blood group but it hasn't affected me.

    My blood group has changed to that of my donor though, so I have changed from O+ to A+. The change was actually a good indication that the graft had taken.


  • My donor has a different blood group to me and I haven't changed over yet - I am 10 months post-transplant. I asked my consultant about this and he said blood groups were a complicated business and not necessarily relevant to the success of a transplant. I didn't go into the detail of it because I got the impression it would be a long conversation. I know of someone whose blood group didn't change for several years post-transplant.
  • Hi Sue,

    Thanks for the interesting question. When deciding on a donor match for patients blood group does not have to be matched, the tissue type and CMV match is the most important factors that are taken in to account. If a patient is lucky enough to have a choice of donors that are 10/10 and CMV matched then the transplant team might then choose a donor with a blood group match if that is available to them but it is not a priority. We do expect the blood group to eventually change but in some cases it might not and this has little to do with the success of the transplant.
    Its interesting that all 3 of you have had different experiences and yet all the transplants have been successful, blood groups are a complicated business and really only haematologists will be able to explain it in any real detail. As long as you know your blood group and your transplant team are monitoring for the change if you haven't already changed over then that's fine. I don't think you need to get too concerned about it.

    Best wishes
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