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Intraoperative Cell Salvage is Associated with Reduced Postoperative Blood Loss and Transfusion Requirements in Cardiac Surgery: a Cohort Study.

Departments of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Departments of Anesthesiology, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


This study investigated whether implementation of cell salvage of shed mediastinal and residual blood in all patients undergoing low-to-moderate-risk cardiac surgery reduces the need for allogeneic red blood cell (RBC) transfusion compared to patients not subjected to cell salvage.

This retrospective cohort study included patients undergoing low-to-moderate-risk cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass without (control; n = 531) or with cell salvage (n = 433; Autolog, Medtronic). Study endpoints, including 24-hour blood loss and RBC requirements, were evaluated using adjusted logistic regression.

Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The cell saver group received 568 ± 267 mL of autologous blood. Median number of allogeneic RBC transfusions was higher in the control group (2 [1-5]) compared with the cell salvage group (1 [0-3]; p 

The use of cell salvage throughout the entire procedure reduces postoperative blood loss and allogeneic RBC transfusion. These findings advocate implementation of cell salvage in all patients undergoing on-pump cardiac surgery, irrespective of anticipated surgery-related blood loss.

Transfusion. 2013 Feb 27. doi: 10.1111/trf.12126. [Epub ahead of print]