ABO Group

The ABO Group test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Description: ABO Group is a blood test that is used to determine what your blood type is.

Also Known As: Blood group test, blood type test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is ABO Group test ordered?

All donated blood undergoes ABO grouping and Rh typing. They're also used when someone needs a blood transfusion. The following conditions or circumstances may necessitate a transfusion:

  • Anemia that is severe, as well as anemia-causing illnesses such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia
  • During or after surgery when you have bleeding
  • Trauma or injury
  • Excessive blood loss 
  • Chemotherapy and  cancer
  • Hemophilia and similar bleeding disorders

When a woman becomes pregnant, she is tested to see if she is Rh negative or positive. Soon after birth, all newborn babies of Rh-negative mothers are tested for ABO and Rh to see if the mother need Rh immune globulin.

When an individual becomes a candidate to receive an organ, tissue, or bone marrow transplant, or when a person decides to become a donor, blood typing may be required. It's one of the first of several tests used to see if a possible donor and recipient are a good match.

Blood type is sometimes used as part of the process of determining whether or not someone is a blood relative.

What does an ABO group blood test check for?

The markers or antigens on the surface of red blood cells are used to determine blood types. The A and B antigens are two primary antigens or surface identifiers on human RBCs. Blood typing determines a person's ABO blood group by detecting the presence or absence of these antigens.

Blood group A is made up of people who have A antigens in their red blood cells, blood group B is made up of people who have B antigens in their red blood cells, blood group AB is made up of people who have both A and B antigens in their red blood cells, and blood group O is made up of people who don't have either of these markers.

Our bodies develop antibodies against antigens A and B that aren't found on our red blood cells. Anti-B antibodies are directed against the B antigens on red blood cells in people with blood type A, while anti-A antibodies are directed against the A antigens in people with blood type B. People with type AB blood do not have either of these antibodies, whereas people with type O blood do.

These antibodies are helpful in detecting a person's blood type and determining which blood kinds he or she can safely receive. If a person with antibodies directed against the B antigen, for example, is transfused with type B blood, his or her own antibodies will attack and kill the transfused red blood cells, resulting in serious and perhaps fatal consequences. As a result, matching a person's blood type to the blood that will be transfused is crucial.

Antibodies to Rh are not created spontaneously, unlike antibodies to A and B antigens. That is, Rh antibodies form only when a person without Rh factor on their red blood cells is exposed to Rh positive red blood cells. When a Rh-negative mother is pregnant with a Rh-positive kid, or when a Rh-negative individual is transfused with Rh-positive blood, this might happen during pregnancy or birth. In either instance, the first encounter to the Rh antigen may not trigger a robust immune response to Rh positive cells, but subsequent exposures may result in severe reactions.

Lab tests often ordered with an ABO Group test:

  • Rh Typing
  • Direct Antiglobulin Test
  • RBC Antibody Screen
  • HLA Testing
  • Compatibility Testing

Conditions where an ABO Group test is recommended:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Pregnancy

How does my health care provider use an ABO Group test?

Blood typing is used to determine a person's blood group, whether they are blood group A, B, AB, or O.

Blood typing can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Ensure that the blood type of a person who needs a blood transfusion or blood components is compatible with the ABO types of the unit of blood that will be transfused. To establish what type of blood or blood components a person can safely receive, blood typing is frequently used in conjunction with other tests such as an RBC antibody screen and a crossmatch. If a unit of blood carrying an ABO antigen to which the blood recipient has an antibody is transfused to the recipient, a potentially deadly transfusion response can result. People with blood group O, for example, have anti-A and anti-B antibodies in their blood. If this person receives a unit of blood from group A, B, or AB, the antibodies in the recipient's blood will react with the red blood cells, killing them and perhaps causing major consequences.
  • At a collection center, determine the blood group of potential blood donors. Donor blood units are blood typed and appropriately labeled so that they can be used for people who require a specific ABO group.
  • As part of the workup for a transplant surgery, determine the blood group of possible donors and recipients of organs, tissues, or bone marrow. ABO blood type is used in conjunction with HLA testing to identify and match organ and tissue donors with recipients who have the same or a sufficient number of matching HLA genes and antigens.

What do my ABO Group test results mean?

Blood typing determines if a person is type A, B, AB, or O. The results will inform the healthcare provider about whether blood or blood components are safe to provide to the patient.

Donated blood typing is significant because it allows health care providers to determine whether patients are compatible with the blood and may safely receive it.

When a donated organ, tissue, or bone marrow is compatible with the intended recipient, it is less likely to be rejected immediately after transplantation.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: ABO Grouping

Abo Group

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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