The selection of platelet donors for patients who are refractory to random donor platelets often presents a difficult clinical problem. We describe an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for evaluating alloantibodies in refractory patients. Platelets from prospective donors are immobilized on microtiter plates and, after incubation with test serum and washing, platelet-bound IgG is detected with enzyme-linked anti-human IgG. Platelets from 46 prospective donors were tested. Twenty-two were judged compatible (reciprocal of the antibody titer less than 16) and, of these, 15 were used as platelet donors; each gave a measurable platelet increment after transfusion. The magnitude of the response was roughly proportional to the assay results. Platelets from donors giving antibody titers less than 4 resulted in platelet increments at 1 hr ranging from 4,890 to 22,200 (median 12,600), while platelets from donors giving titers of 8 or 16 resulted in lesser increments (550-4548). Conversely, 5 of the 24 patients found incompatible by the assay (titer greater than 16) gave no platelet increment, and in 3 instances, the recipient developed fever and chills after the transfusion. The assay is sensitive, simple, and adaptable to the clinical laboratory. Platelets from volunteer donor panels can be plated and stored for up to 6 mo.