autologous adj : derived from organisms of the selfsame individual; "autologous blood donation" [ant: homologous, heterologous]
- Derived from part of the same individual
In biology, autologous refers to cells, tissues or even proteins that are reimplanted in the same individual as they come from. Bone marrow, skin biopsy, cartilage, and bone can be used as autografts.
In contrast, cells or tissues transplanted from a different individual are referred to as allogeneic, homologous, or as an allograft.
Autologous blood donationIn blood banking terminology, autologous refers to a blood donation marked for use by the donor, typically for a scheduled surgery. They are commonly called "Autos" by blood bank staff.
Some advantages of autologous blood donation are:
The disadvantages are typically:
- Higher cost due to individualized processing, record-keeping, and management.
- In most cases, the blood is discarded if it is not used instead of being added to the general supply.
Autologous blood is not routinely tested for infectious diseases markers such as HIV antibodies. In the United States, autologous blood is only tested if it is collected in one place and shipped to another.
There is also a risk that, in an emergency or if more blood is required than has been set aside in advance, the patient could still be exposed to donor blood instead of autologous blood. Autologous donation is also not suitable for patients who are medically unable to or not advised to give blood, such as cardiac patients or small children and infants.
Bone autograftIn orthopaedic medicine, bone graft can be sourced from a patient's own bone in order to fill space and produce an osteogenic response in a bone defect. However, due to the donor-site morbidity associated with autograft, other methods such as bone allograft and bone morphogenetic proteins and synthetic graft materials are often used as alternatives.
- Autotransfusion - the process of returning to a patient their own blood that has been lost.