Comparison of two red-cell transfusion strategies after pediatric cardiac surgery: a subgroup analysis.
ABSTRACT To determine the impact of a restrictive vs. a liberal transfusion strategy on new or progressive multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in children post cardiac surgery. The optimal transfusion threshold after cardiac surgery in children is unknown.
Randomized, controlled trial.
Tertiary pediatric intensive care units.
Participants are a subgroup of pediatric patients post cardiac surgery from the TRIPICU (Transfusion Requirements in Pediatric Intensive Care Units) study. Exclusion criteria specific to the cardiac surgery subgroup included: age <28 days and patients remaining cyanotic.
Critically ill children with a hemoglobin < or = 95 g/L within 7 days of pediatric intensive care unit admission were randomized to receive prestorage leukocyte-reduced red-cell transfusion if their hemoglobin dropped either <70 g/L (restrictive) or 95 g/L (liberal).
Postoperative cardiac patients (n = 125) from seven centers were enrolled. The restrictive (n = 63) and liberal (n = 62) groups were similar at baseline in age (mean +/- standard deviation = 31.4 +/- 38.1 mos vs. 26.4 +/- 39.1 mos), surgical procedure, severity of illness (Pediatric Risk of Mortality score = 3.4 +/- 3.2 vs. 3.2 +/- 3.2), multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (46% vs. 44%), mechanical ventilation (62% vs. 60%), and hemoglobin (83 vs. 80 g/L). Mean hemoglobin remained 21 g/L lower in the restrictive group after randomization. No significant difference was found in new or progressive multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (primary outcome) in the restrictive group vs. liberal group (12.7% vs. 6.5%; p = .36), pediatric intensive care unit length of stay (7.0 +/- 5.0 days vs. 7.4 +/- 6.4 days) or 28-day mortality (3.2% vs. 3.2%).
In this subgroup analysis of cardiac surgery patients, a restrictive red-cell transfusion strategy, as compared with a liberal one, was not associated with any significant difference in new or progressive multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, but this evidence is not definitive.