Article Abstract

The impact of perioperative blood transfusions on short-term outcomes following hepatectomy

Authors: Julie Hallet, Alyson L. Mahar, Avery B. Nathens, Melanie E. Tsang, Kaitlyn A. Beyfuss, Yulia Lin, Natalie G. Coburn, Paul J. Karanicolas


Background: Bleeding and need for red blood cell transfusions (RBCT) remain a significant concern with hepatectomy. RBCT carry risk of transfusion-related immunomodulation that may impact post-operative recovery. This study soughs to assess the association between RBCT and post-hepatectomy morbidity.
Methods: Using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) registry, we identified all adult patients undergoing elective hepatectomy over 2007–2012. Two exposure groups were created based on RBCT. Primary outcomes were 30-day major morbidity and mortality. Secondary outcomes included 30-day system-specific morbidity and length of stay (LOS). Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were computed using regression analyses. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to un-derstand how missing data might have impacted the results.
Results: A total of 12,180 patients were identified. Of those, 11,712 met inclusion criteria, 2,951 (25.2%) of whom received RBCT. Major morbidity occurred in 14.9% of patients and was strongly associated with RBCT (25.3% vs. 11.3%; P<0.001). Transfused patients had higher rates of 30-day mortality (5.6% vs. 1.0%; P<0.0001). After adjustment for baseline and clinical characteristics, RBCT was independently associated with increased major morbidity (RR 1.80; 95% CI: 1.61–1.99), mortality (RR 3.62; 95% CI: 2.68–4.89), and 1.29 times greater LOS (rate ratio 1.29; 95% CI: 1.25–1.32). Results were robust to a number of sensitivity analyses for missing data.
Conclusions: Perioperative RBCT for hepatectomy was independently associated with worse short-term outcomes and prolonged LOS. These findings further the rationale to focus on minimizing RBCT for hepatectomy, when they can be avoided.


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