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J Knee Surg. 2013 Dec;26(6):373-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1357492. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Preoperative blood management strategies for total knee arthroplasty.

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Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland.


Elective total knee arthroplasty is frequently associated with considerable blood loss and a concomitant decline in hemoglobin postoperatively. This often leads to high rates of allogeneic transfusions, with reports of up to 69%, to treat postoperative anemia. Allogeneic blood transfusions have been shown to be an independent risk factor for increased adverse outcomes, such as prolonged length of hospital stay and postoperative infections. Although multiple preoperative blood management strategies have been proposed, there are no concise guidelines, as few studies have compared the relative efficacy of these techniques. The aim of this review was to evaluate current evidence on the various preoperative blood management strategies for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty and to provide an overview of the safety and efficacy of these practices. Specifically, we evaluated preoperative autologous blood donation, iron therapy, and intravenous erythropoietin. Current evidence suggests that these techniques independently may be effective at reducing the incidence of allogeneic blood transfusions, correcting preoperative, and preventing postoperative anemia. However, more studies are necessary to evaluate combination protocols, as well as the cost-effectiveness and safety of these practices as part of routine preoperative blood management for total knee arthroplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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