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Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Sep;86(3):373-8.

Intraoperative autologous blood collection and autotransfusion in the surgical management of early cancers of the uterine cervix.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, USA.



To evaluate intraoperative autologous blood collection with autotransfusion (Cell Saver) with respect to patient acceptance, risk of tumor cell co-transfusion, and risk of recurrence in patients undergoing radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer.


All patients explored for radical hysterectomy between August 1991 and July 1994 were offered the use of intraoperative autotransfusion. Clinical-pathologic and transfusion-related characteristics were compared for a group of historic controls surgically treated for similar disease. The risk of tumor cell co-transfusion was assessed intraoperatively with peritoneal cytology before blood collection, and postoperatively with Cell Saver blood cytology.


Ninety-eight patients were offered enrollment; four declined Cell Saver use, and 71 were acceptable for analysis. Thirty-one women (mean estimated blood loss 1338 mL) were reinfused with their own blood collected in the Cell Saver, whereas 40 patients (mean estimated blood loss 631 mL) were not autotransfused. There was no significant difference in preoperative hemoglobin concentration between groups. Cell Saver use significantly reduced the need for homologous transfusions, intraoperatively (P < .001) and postoperatively (P = .02). Historic controls (mean operative blood loss 1743 mL) were nearly four times more likely to have been transfused and three times more likely to have been transfused postoperatively than was the auto-transfused Cell Saver group. The mean hemoglobin concentration at discharge was lower in the autotransfused group, 9.3 g/dL, than in the historic controls, 10.8 g/dL. Nontransfused Cell Saver blood and all peritoneal cytologies were negative for tumor cells. Three pelvic recurrences, but no disseminated disease, have been noted over a mean follow-up of 24 months: one in the autotransfused group and two in the group in which the collected blood was discarded.


Cell Saver use is well accepted by patients, decreases the need for homologous transfusions, and does not appear to co-transfuse tumor cells.

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