The Relative Risk of Infection from Transfusions After Arthroplasty: Commentary on articles by Richard Friedman, MD, FRCSC, et al.: "Allogeneic Blood Transfusions and Postoperative Infections After Total Hip or Knee Arthroplasty" and Erik T. Newman, MD, et al.: "Impact of Perioperative Allogeneic and Autologous Blood Transfusion on Acute Wound Infection Following Total Knee and Total Hip Arthroplasty"

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Impact Factor: 4.31). 02/2014; 96(4):e33. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.M.01436
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The beginning of the modern era of blood transfusion coincided with World War II and the resultant need for massive blood replacement. Soon thereafter, the hazards of transfusion, particularly hepatitis and hemolytic transfusion reactions, became increasingly evident. The past half century has seen the near eradication of transfusion-associated hepatitis as well as the emergence of multiple new pathogens, most notably HIV. Specific donor screening assays and other interventions have minimized, but not eliminated, infectious disease transmission. Other transfusion hazards persist, including human error resulting in the inadvertent transfusion of incompatible blood, acute and delayed transfusion reactions, transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease (TA-GVHD), and transfusion-induced immunomodulation. These infectious and noninfectious hazards are reviewed briefly in the context of their historical evolution.
    Blood 11/2008; 112(7):2617-26. DOI:10.1182/blood-2008-07-077370 · 10.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the last three decades, a growing body of clinical, basic science and animal model data has demonstrated that blood transfusions have important effects on the immune system. These effects include: dysregulation of inflammation and innate immunity leading to susceptibility to microbial infection, down-regulation of cellular (T and NK cell) host defenses against tumors, and enhanced B cell function that leads to alloimmunization to blood group, histocompatibility and other transfused antigens. Furthermore, transfusions alter the balance between hemostasis and thrombosis through inflammation, nitric oxide scavenging, altered rheologic properties of the blood, immune complex formation and, no doubt, several mechanisms not yet elucidated. The net effects are rarely beneficial to patients, unless they are in imminent danger of death due to exsanguination or life threatening anemia. These findings have led to appeals for more conservative transfusion practice, buttressed by randomized trials showing that patients do not benefit from aggressive transfusion practices. At the risk of hyperbole, one might suggest that if the 18th and 19th centuries were characterized by physicians unwittingly harming patients through venesection and bleeding, the 20th century was characterized by physicians unwittingly harming patients through current transfusion practices. In addition to the movement to more parsimonious use of blood transfusions, an effort has been made to reduce the toxic effects of blood transfusions through modifications such as leukoreduction and saline washing. More recently, there is early evidence that reducing the storage period of red cells transfused might be a strategy for minimizing adverse outcomes such as infection, thrombosis, organ failure and mortality in critically ill patients particularly at risk for these hypothesized effects. The present review will focus on two approaches, leukoreduction and saline washing, as means to reduce adverse transfusion outcomes.
    Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases 09/2012; 50(1). DOI:10.1016/j.bcmd.2012.08.009 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several mechanisms have been proposed as possible causes of transfusion-related immunomodulation (TRIM) after allogeneic transfusion. If one of these mechanisms, the release of mediators of immunity and inflammation ("biologic response modifiers"[BRMs]) from disintegrating blood cells during storage of blood products, really causes TRIM, it should in principle also occur after autologous transfusion. As a consequence, prestorage leukoreduction of autologous blood should be able to prevent the clinical consequences of TRIM after autologous transfusion. This hypothesis was investigated in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. A total of 1089 patients scheduled for total hip arthroplasty and eligible for preoperative autologous blood donation were randomly assigned to receive autologous whole blood (AWB) either unmodified or leukoreduced when transfusion was indicated. Neither the primary study outcome, that is, the overall postoperative infection rate (17.3% vs. 17.6%, p = 0.59), nor several secondary outcomes like median length of hospital stay (14 days vs. 14 days, p = 0.17) were significantly different between groups, whether analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle or "as treated." This trial provides strong evidence, from clinically relevant outcome data, that leukoreduction of AWB does not improve postoperative patient outcome and that the release of BRMs from disintegrating blood cells during storage cannot explain the immunomodulatory effect of blood transfusion.
    Transfusion 07/2008; 48(10):2133-42. DOI:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01804.x · 3.57 Impact Factor