Ibrahim Sultan, MD, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director, Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease, Surgical Director, Center for Heart Valve Disease, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC. In this video, he speaks about Transfusion of non–red blood cell blood products does not reduce survival following cardiac surgery.
The evidence suggests that patients undergoing cardiac surgery who receive perioperative packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusions have an increased risk of death. The current investigation is to determine whether there is a link between non–pRBC blood product transfusions and higher mortality.
Patients who underwent heart surgery between 2010 and 2018 were included in data from our center's Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. Patients requiring pRBC infusions or experiencing circulatory arrest were excluded. Propensity matching (1:1; caliper = 0.2 times the standard deviation of logit of propensity score) was used. Cox regression and Kaplan–Meier estimates were utilized. This study excluded individuals with cardiac transplants, ventricular assist devices, transcatheter aortic valves, and circulatory arrest.
A total of 8042 patients met the analytic requirements. 395 patients requiring perioperative non–pRBC blood products (platelets, fresh-frozen plasma, and cryoprecipitate) were matched with 395 nontransfusion patients using propensity matching (1:1), resulting in equitable patient cohorts. The median duration of follow-up was 4.5 (3.0-6.4) years. Platelets (327 [82.8 percent]), fresh-frozen plasma (141 [35.7 percent]), and cryoprecipitate were given to patients (60 [15.2 percent ]). There was no statistically significant difference in postoperative mortality (6 [1.5%] vs 4 [1.0%]; P =.52). The transfusion group had higher rates of reoperation (20 [5.0 percent] vs 8 [2.0 percent]; P.02) and prolonged ventilation (36 [9.1 percent] vs 19 [4.8 percent]; P.02). Blood product use was strongly linked with emergent surgery (odds ratio [OR] 2.86 [1.72-4.78]; P.001), intra-aortic balloon pump (OR 3.24 [1.64-6.39]; P.001), and multivalve surgery (OR 4.34 [2.83-6.67]; P.001). Blood product transfusion (hazard ratio: 1.15 [0.89-1.48]; P =.3) was not related with an increased risk of death. There was no significant difference in long-term survival between groups.
Those undergoing cardiac surgery who require blood products alone, without pRBC transfusion, have comparable postoperative and long-term survival to patients who do not require blood products. These findings are based on a small number of patients, and further research will help to improve the generalizability of these findings.