Incidence of Massive Transfusion and Overall Transfusion Requirements During Lung Transplantation Over a 25-Year Period

Vladimir Cernak, Annemieke Oude Lansink-Hartgring, Edwin R van den Heuvel, Erik A M Verschuuren, Wim van der Bij, Thomas W L Scheeren, Gerwin E Engels, Arian F de Geus, Michiel E Erasmus, Adrianus J de Vries

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Objective: To establish the incidence of massive transfusion and overall transfusion requirements during lung transplantation, changes over time, and association with outcome in relation to patient complexity.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: University hospital.

Participants: All 514 adult patients who underwent transplantation from 1990 until 2015.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and Main Results: Patient records and transfusion data, divided into 5-year intervals, were analyzed. The incidence of massive transfusion (>10 units of red blood cells [RBCs] in 24 h) was 27% and did not change over time, whereas the median (interquartile range) transfusion requirement in the whole cohort decreased from 8 (5-12) to 3 (0-10) RBCs (p <0.001). In patients transplanted from the intensive care unit, the incidence of massive transfusion increased over time from 25% to 54% (p = 0.04) and median transfusion requirements from 4.5 (3-8.5) units to 14.5 (5-26) units of RBCs (p = 0.03). Multivariable analysis showed that circulatory support, pulmonary hypertension, re-transplantation, cystic fibrosis, Eisenmenger syndrome, bilateral transplantation, and low body mass index were associated with massive transfusion. Patients with massive transfusion had more primary graft dysfunction grade III at 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours (p <0.001), higher 30-day mortality (13% v 4%; p <0.001), and lower 5-year survival (hazard ratio 3.67 [95% confidence interval 1.72-7.85]; p <0.001).

Conclusion: The incidence of massive transfusion did not change over time, whereas transfusion requirements in the whole cohort decreased. In patients transplanted from the intensive care unit, massive transfusion and transfusion requirements increased. Massive transfusion was associated with poor outcome. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2478-2486
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
Issue number9
Early online date30-Mar-2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2019


  • lung transplantation
  • massive transfusion

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