Persistent effect of red cell transfusion on health-related quality of life after cardiac surgery

Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
The Annals of thoracic surgery (Impact Factor: 3.45). 08/2006; 82(1):13-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2005.07.075
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although red blood cell transfusion has been associated with an increase in early morbid outcomes and reduced long-term survival after cardiac surgery, its relationship to functional quality of life after surgery has not been previously explored. Our objective was to investigate the relationship between perioperative red blood cell and component transfusion and functional health-related quality of life 6 to 12 months after cardiac surgery.
Of 12,536 patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures between May 1995 and January 1999, 7,321 completed a self-administered Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) survey preoperatively and least one follow-up survey at nominally 6 or 12 months postoperatively. The influence of baseline DASI, preoperative risk factors, clinical status, laboratory values, operative events, and postoperative morbidities on follow-up DASI were examined with ordinal regression modeling.
After adjustment for preoperative DASI, demographic, cardiac and noncardiac comorbidity, type of surgery, postoperative complications, and interval between follow-up DASI, during which patients continued to improve (p < 0.0001), postoperative functional status after cardiac surgery was incrementally worse the more perioperative red cells (p < 0.0001) and platelets (p = 0.02) that had been transfused.
Red blood cell and platelet transfusion have an unintended persistently negative risk-adjusted effect on health-related quality of life after cardiac surgery that extends well beyond initial hospitalization. Reductions in functional recovery paralleled increasing units of red blood cells transfused.

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    ABSTRACT: Transfusion of banked red blood cells (RBCs) has been associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes. Storage-induced alterations in RBC glycolytic flux, attenuated ATP export, and microvascular adhesion of transfused RBCs in vivo could contribute, but the underlying mechanisms have not been tested. We tested the novel hypothesis that improving deoxygenation-induced metabolic flux and the associated intracellular ATP generation in stored RBCs (sRBCs) results in an increased extracellular ATP export, and suppresses microvascular adhesion of RBCs to endothelium in vivo following transfusion. We show deficient intracellular ATP production and ATP export by human sRBCs during deoxygenation (impairments ~42 and 49%, respectively). sRBC pre-treatment with a solution containing glycolytic intermediate/purine/phosphate precursors (i.e. "PIPA") restored deoxygenation-induced intracellular ATP production, and promoted extracellular ATP export (improvement ~120 and 50%, respectively). In a nude mouse model of transfusion, adhesion of human RBCs to the microvasculature in vivo was examined. Only 2% of fresh RBCs (fRBCs) transfused adhered to the vascular wall, compared to 16% of sRBCs transfused. PIPA pre-treatment of sRBCs significantly reduced adhesion to just 5%. In hypoxia, adhesion of sRBCs transfused was significantly augmented (up to 21%), but not following transfusion of fRBCs or PIPA-treated sRBCs (3.5 or 6%). Enhancing the capacity for deoxygenation-induced glycolytic flux within sRBCs increases their ability to generate intracellular ATP, improves the inducible export of extracellular anti-adhesive ATP, and consequently suppresses adhesion of stored, transfused RBCs to the vascular wall in vivo.
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