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Perioperative Transfusion May Not Affect Long-Term Survival

Last Updated: July 27, 2009.

Receiving a moderate allogeneic blood transfusion in connection with coronary artery surgery is not associated with a reduction in long-term survival, according to a study in the August issue of Anesthesiology.

MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Receiving a moderate allogeneic blood transfusion in connection with coronary artery surgery is not associated with a reduction in long-term survival, according to a study in the August issue of Anesthesiology.

William M. Weightman, of the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues studied 1,841 consecutive patients who underwent coronary artery surgery and survived more than 60 days after surgery, including 1,062 who received transfusion. The cohort was followed for a mean of 8.1 years and Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate the association between blood transfusion and length of survival, and identify relevant risk factors.

The researchers note that, during follow-up, 266 patients died. Of those who had received transfusions, 27 percent had a new medical condition recorded as cause of death, compared to 43 percent who did not have transfusions. The investigators discovered that the risk factors associated with long-term survival were older age, cerebrovascular disease, reduced left ventricular function, use of a mammary graft, renal dysfunction, chronic pulmonary disease and preoperative anemia. No association was found between blood transfusion and long-term survival.

"We should reassure patients who have undergone coronary artery surgery, and who have received moderate amounts of blood as part of responsible and conservative management, that they are unlikely to experience a reduction in long-term survival," Weightman and colleagues conclude.

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