n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Comparison of results of autologous versus homologous blood transfusion in open-heart surgery : cardiovascular topics

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



The aim of this study was to determine a method to decrease the use of homologous blood during open-heart surgery using a simple blood-conservation protocol. We removed autologous blood from the patient before bypass and used isovolumetric substitution. We present the results of this protocol on morbidity and mortality of surgery patients from two distinct time periods.

Patients from the two surgical phases were enrolled in this retrospective study in order to compare the outcomes using autologous or homologous blood in open-heart surgery. A total of 323 patients were included in the study. The autologous transfusion group (group 1) comprised 163 patients and the homologous transfusion group (group 2) 160 patients. In group 1, autologous bloods were prepared via a central venous catheter that was inserted into the right internal jugular vein in all patients, using the isovolumetric replacement technique. The primary outcome was postoperative in-hospital mortality and mortality at 30 days. Secondary outcomes included the length of stay in hospital and in intensive care unit (ICU), time for extubation, re-intubations, pulmonary infections, pneumothorax, pleural effusions, atrial fibrillation, other arrhythmias, renal disease, allergic reactions, mediastinitis and sternal dehiscence, need for inotropic support, and low cardiac-output syndrome (LCOS).
The mean ages of patients in groups 1 and 2 were 64.2 ± 10.3 and 61.5 ± 11.6 years, respectively. Thirty-eight of the patients in group 1 and 30 in group 2 were female. There was no in-hospital or 30-day mortality in either group. The mean extubation time, and ICU and hospital stays were significantly shorter in group 1. Furthermore, postoperative drainage amounts were less in group 1. There were significantly fewer patients with postoperative pulmonary complications, pneumonia, atrial fibrillation and renal disease. The number of patients who needed postoperative inotropic support and those with low cardiac output was also significantly less in group 1.
Autologous blood transfusion is a safe and effective method in carefully selected patients undergoing cardiac surgery. It not only prevents transfusion-related co-morbidities and complications but also enables early extubation time and shorter ICU and hospital stay. Furthermore, it reduces the cost of surgery.

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