Send to

Choose Destination
Anesthesiology. 2011 Nov;115(5):929-37. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e318232004b.

Effect of single recombinant human erythropoietin injection on transfusion requirements in preoperatively anemic patients undergoing valvular heart surgery.

Author information

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea.



The authors investigated the effect of a single preoperative bolus of erythropoietin on perioperative transfusion requirement and erythropoiesis in patients with preoperative anemia undergoing valvular heart surgery.


In this prospective, single-site, single-blinded, randomized, and parallel-arm controlled trial, 74 patients with preoperative anemia were randomly allocated to either the erythropoietin or the control group. The erythropoietin group received 500 IU/kg erythropoietin and 200 mg iron sucrose intravenously 1 day before the surgery. The control group received an equivalent volume of normal saline. The primary endpoint was transfusion requirement assessed during the surgery and for 4 days postoperatively. Reticulocyte count and iron profiles were measured serially and compared preoperatively and on postoperative days 1, 2, 4, and 7.


Transfusion occurred in 32 patients (86%) of the control group versus 22 patients (59%) of the erythropoietin group (P = 0.009). The mean number of units of packed erythrocytes transfused per patient during the surgery and for 4 postoperative days (mean ± SD) was also significantly decreased in the erythropoietin group compared with the control group (3.3 ± 2.2 vs.. 1.0 ± 1.1 units/patient, P = 0.001). The reticulocyte count was significantly greater in the erythropoietin group at postoperative days 4 (P = 0.001) and 7 (P = 0.001).


A single intravenous administration of erythropoietin and an iron supplement 1 day before surgery significantly reduced the perioperative transfusion requirement in anemic patients undergoing valvular heart surgery, implicating its potential role as a blood conservation strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center