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Transfusion. 1995 Jul;35(7):559-65.

Acute normovolemic hemodilution is a cost-effective alternative to preoperative autologous blood donation by patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.



Preoperative autologous blood donation is accepted as a standard of care for radical prostatectomy. Acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) is an alternative method for obtaining autologous blood. The cost and benefits of these two autologous blood-collection techniques are compared.


Thirty consecutive patients scheduled for radical prostatectomy underwent ANH to a target hematocrit level of 28 percent. Blood was transfused in the perioperative period to maintain the hematocrit level > 25 percent. Hematocrit levels, transfusion outcomes and costs, and postoperative outcomes for these patients (hemodilution group) were compared with a matched patient cohort who preoperatively donated 3 units of blood for autologous use in prostatectomy surgery (nonhemodilution group, n = 30).


Thirty patients underwent ANH to a hematocrit level of 28.7 +/- 1.7 percent, and 1740 +/- 346 mL (3.5 +/- 0.7 units) of blood were collected. Three (10%) of the patients in each cohort had allogeneic blood exposure. Transfusion costs were 73 percent higher for the nonhemodilution group patients than for the hemodilution group patients ($330 +/- $100 vs. $191 +/- $55, p < 0.001). No differences were found in postoperative outcomes.


An integrated blood conservation program utilizing hemodilution and a defined transfusion trigger can decrease the requirement for preoperative donation of blood for autologous use in radical prostatectomy. Point-of-care autologous blood procurement is more cost-effective than preadmission donation of autologous blood units.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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