Red Blood Cell (RBC) Antigen Typing: k (Cellano)

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Test Details


Typing paternal RBCs for antigens that correspond to maternal antibody may aid in the prediction of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn. Red cell antigen typing may also be indicated for bone marrow, tissue, organ, or blood donors prior to donation. Testing a prenatal patient for red cell antigens is generally not indicated. The occurrence of the little k antigen is 99.8% in Caucasians and 100% in Blacks. Anti-K can cause mild to severe (rare) hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.


Presence of potent cold agglutinins, positive direct antiglobulin test, and (in some cases) bacteremia may interfere with test interpretation.



Specimen Requirements


Whole blood


1 mL

Minimum Volume

0.5 mL


Lavender-top (EDTA) tube

Storage Instructions

Specimens should be tested as soon as possible or within 72 hours of collection. Samples that cannot be tested immediately should be stored at 2°C to 8°C. Do not freeze red cells.

Causes for Rejection

Gross hemolysis; bacterial or other contamination

Clinical Information

Special Instructions

This test does not include big K (Kell). To order big K typing, refer to test 006068.


Fung MK, Grossman JB, Hillyer CD, Westoff CM, eds. AABB Technical Manual. 18th ed. Bethesda, Md: American Association of Blood Banks; 2014.
Reid ME, Lomas-Frances CG, Olsson ML, eds. Blood Group Antigen Facts Book. 3rd ed. London, England: Academic Press; 2012.

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