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Tissue Type Test

How It Is Done

The health professional drawing blood will:

  • Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
  • Clean the needle site with alcohol.
  • Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
  • Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
  • Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
  • Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
  • Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.

How It Feels

The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.

Risks

There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.

  • You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
  • In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used several times a day to treat this.
  • Ongoing bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (such as Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood sample is taken.

Results

A tissue type test is a blood test that identifies substances called antigens on the surface of body cells and tissues. Checking the antigens can tell if donor tissue is safe (compatible) for transplant to another person.

  • For organ or tissue transplants, the results of tissue type show whether the donated tissue matches. The antigen pattern match is different for each type of transplant. For example, the match for a bone marrow transplant needs to be closer than the match needed for a kidney transplant.
  • To check family relationships, the more alike the antigen patterns are, the more likely it is that the two people are related.
  • If an antigen related to a disease is found, that disease is likely to be present.

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include having had a blood transfusion in the past 3 days.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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