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Transplant Proc. 2013 Nov;45(9):3305-9. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.07.062.

Single-center transfusion rate for 555 consecutive liver transplantations: impact of two eras.

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Department of Surgery, Hospital Universitário Walter Cantídio, Federal University of Ceará, Ceará, Brazil.


Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is the treatment of choice for patients with acute or chronic end-stage liver disease, irresectable primary liver tumor, and metabolic disorders. Historically, OLT has been associated with considerable blood loss and the need for transfusions. However, over the years there has been reduction is need for blood products. The aim of this article was to compare two distinct eras for perioperative blood transfusion rate among patients undergoing OLT; Era I, 200 transplantations in 188 patients, and Era II, 355 transplantations in 339 patients. The donor mean age was 33.70 (Era I) versus 35.34 (Era II). Cause of death in both eras was traumatic brain injury followed by cerebral vascular accident. Organ recipient data showed a mean age of 48.87 (Era I) versus 46.49 (Era II). During Era I patients with Child B (56.8%) prevailed, followed by Child C (35.4%) and Child A (7.8%). In Era II also patients with Child B (53.1%) prevailed, followed by Child C (39.6%) and Child A (7.3%). The prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) during Era I was 9% (18) and in Era II 20% (71). The use of blood products in the perioperative period: was as follows packed red blood cells 1.76 (Era I) versus 0.57 (Era II) units; fresh frozen plasma 1.89 (Era I) versus 0.49 (Era II) units; platelets 2.16 (Era I) versus 0.28 (Era II) units; and cryoprecipitate 0.08 (Era I) versus 0.03 (Era II) units. OLT using the piggyback technique was performed with a transfusion rate below <30%, and it reduced blood loss and prevented severe hemodynamic instability.

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