AskDefine | Define autologous

Dictionary Definition

autologous adj : derived from organisms of the selfsame individual; "autologous blood donation" [ant: homologous, heterologous]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Derived from part of the same individual

Extensive Definition

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 donation

In 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:
  • Blood type will always match, even with a rare blood type or antibody type.
  • If only autologous blood is used during surgery the risk of exposure to infectious disease such as hepatitis or HIV from blood is eliminated.
  • The risk of allergic reactions is reduced.
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 autograft

In 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.

See also

  • Autotransfusion - the process of returning to a patient their own blood that has been lost.
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