International Perfusion Association


Low-Volume Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution Does Not Reduce Allogeneic Red Blood Cell Transfusion in Cardiac Surgery in the Modern Era of Patient Blood Management: A Propensity Score-Matched Cohort Study

Objectives: Patients undergoing cardiac surgery often require blood transfusions, which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Patient blood management (PBM) strategies, including acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH), have been implemented to minimize allogeneic transfusion requirements. Older studies suggested that ANH is associated with reduced transfusions; however, its effectiveness in the modern era of PBM remains unclear.

Design: This was a retrospective cohort study.

Setting: The study was held at a single university hospital.

Participants: 542 patients who underwent elective cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) using low-priming-volume circuits between January 2017 and March 2022.

Interventions: Patients who received ANH were matched with those who did not receive ANH, using propensity scores.

Measurements and main results: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who received perioperative red blood cell (RBC) transfusion. Of the 542 eligible patients, 49 ANH cases were propensity-score matched to 97 controls. The median ANH volume was 450 mL (IQR, 400-800 mL). There was no significant difference in perioperative RBC transfusion rates between the 2 groups (24.5% in the ANH group vs 30.9% in the control group, p = 0.42). The odds ratio for perioperative RBC transfusion in the ANH group versus the control group was 0.72 (95% CI, 0.32-1.55, p = 0.42).

Conclusions: Low-volume ANH was not associated with a significant reduction in perioperative allogeneic RBC transfusion during cardiac surgery with CPB using low-priming-volume circuits. The benefits of low-volume ANH in reducing the requirement for RBC transfusion in the modern era of PBM may be smaller than reported previously.

Keywords: acute normovolemic hemodilution; cardiac surgery; patient blood management; propensity score analysis; transfusion.

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