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Anesth Analg. 1997 Nov;85(5):953-8.

Acute normovolemic hemodilution can replace preoperative autologous blood donation as a standard of care for autologous blood procurement in radical prostatectomy.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. monkt@notes.wustl.edu


Predonation of autologous blood (PAD) is a standard of care for patients undergoing radical prostatectomy, but recent studies have shown that PAD is not cost-effective. Acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) is an alternative autologous blood procurement technique that is much less costly than PAD. We compared the efficacy and costs of ANH alone to ANH combined with PAD. Two hundred-fifty patients who predonated fewer than 3 units of autologous blood before radical prostatectomy underwent ANH to a target hematocrit of 28%. Perioperative hematocrit levels, transfusion outcomes and costs, and postoperative outcomes were compared for patients who predonated 0, 1, or 2 units of blood before surgery. A computer model was used to estimate the savings in red blood cells (RBC) associated with each autologous intervention. ANH alone resulted in a 21% allogeneic transfusion rate and contributed a mean net savings of 112 mL RBC in blood conservation (equivalent to 0.6 unit of blood). The addition of 1 or 2 units of PAD reduced allogeneic exposure rates to 6% or 0%, respectively. Overall, patients who predonated blood had a mean net loss of 198 mL of RBC (equivalent to 1 blood unit), due to both an absence in compensatory erythropoiesis and to the wastage of 60% of the blood units donated. Patients who underwent ANH alone had a 60% reduction in mean total transfusion costs ($103 +/- $102) compared with patients who predeposited 2 units of autologous blood in addition to ANH ($269 +/- $11, P < 0.05). We conclude that ANH can replace PAD as an autologous blood option because it is less costly and equally effective. A combination of ANH and PAD can further decrease allogeneic blood exposure, but it increases transfusion costs and wastage.


A patient's own blood can be obtained for use in surgery by predonation or acute normovolemic hemodilution on the day of surgery. Both blood collection techniques decrease the need for blood bank transfusions, but acute normovolemic hemodilution is less expensive and more convenient for patients.

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