Screening for antibodies associated with halothane hepatitis

K. L. Hastings, C. Thomas, A. K. Hubbard, A. J. Gandolfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The diagnosis of halothane hepatitis (HH) may be assisted by detection of antibodies reacting to trifluoroacetylated proteins (anti- TFA antibodies). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) utilizing trifluoroacetylated rabbit serum albumin (TFA-RSA) as antigen detected anti-TFA antibodies in 67% of sera from patients for whom a clinical diagnosis of HH was made. Anti-TFA antibodies were detected in 33% of sera when using an EL ISA with liver microsomal protein from halothane-treated rabbits as antigen. Absorption of the sera with untreated rabbit liver microsomal protein before using the microsomal protein ELISA resulted in detection of anti-TFA antibodies in 42% of sera. Using the presumptive hapten N-e-trifluoroacetyl-l-lysine to block antibody binding in an ELISA resulted in positive detection in 50% of sera: the results did not always agree with the other ELISA methods. The TFA-RSA ELISA was the most sensitive method and, combined with the TFA-lysine blocking ELISA, resulted in 92% of sera from HH patients testing positive for HH-associated antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-728
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Anaesthetics, volatile: halothane.
  • Complications: halothane hepatitis.
  • Immune response: anti-TFA antibodies.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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