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Lancet. 1989 Jul 15;2(8655):131-3.

Effect of perioperative blood transfusion on recurrence of Crohn's disease.

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Department of Surgery, University of Wales College of Medicine, Health Park, Cardiff.


The effect of perioperative blood transfusion on recurrence of Crohn's disease was investigated retrospectively in 60 patients with Crohn's disease who underwent small-bowel resection. 28 patients received 1-8 units of blood; the others were not transfused. Both groups were similar in age, duration of Crohn's disease, and preoperative serum albumin, but preoperative haemoglobin, length of intestine resected, and location of small-bowel involvement were different. The patients who received perioperative blood transfusion had a significantly lower recurrence rate by life-table analysis, although the site and greater length of bowel involvement in the transfused patients would normally indicate an increased likelihood of recurrence. 5 years after bowel resection, the cumulative recurrence rate in transfused patients was 19%, compared with 59% in controls. The immunosuppressive effect of blood transfusion may modify the progression of Crohn's disease.

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