Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Cardiac surgery, especially in the presence of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), is associated with an inflammatory reaction that may promote microcirculatory alterations, in addition to the general impact on system hemodynamics. Anemia and transfusion make patients more susceptible to the deleterious effects of CPB. In this study, it was aimed to evaluate the effect of dilutional anemia, which is caused by CPB and can be treated with 1?2 units of red blood cell (RBC) transfusion, on global tissue oxygenation parameters in cardiac surgery patients.Materials and methods: This prospective observational study comprised 127 patients who had a relatively stable operation period without any major anesthetic or surgical complications (e.g., operation duration >5 h, bleeding or hemodilution requiring more than 1?2 units of RBCs, or unstable hemodynamics, requiring inotropic support of more than 5 ?g/kg/min dopamine). Patients were observationally divided into two groups: minimally transfused (Group Tr) and nontransfused (Group NTr). Global tissue oxygenation parameters were evaluated after anesthesia induction (T1) and at the end of the operation (T3) and compared between the groups.Results: Group Tr consisted of patients who had significantly lower preoperative hemoglobin values than Group NTr patients. The dilutional anemia of all Group Tr patients could be corrected with 1 unit of RBCs. The lactate levels at T3, increment rates of lactate, and venoarterial carbon dioxide pressure difference (?pCO2) levels [(T3 ? T1) : T1] in Group Tr were significantly higher than those in Group NTr.Conclusion: Dilutional anemia as a result of CPB mostly occurs in patients with borderline preoperative hemoglobin concentrations and its correction with RBC transfusion does not normalize the degree of microcirculatory and oxygenation problems, which the patients are already prone to because of the nature of CPB. Preventing dilutional anemia and transfusion, especially in patients with preoperative borderline hemoglobin levels, may therefore reduce the burden of impaired microcirculation-associated organ failure in on-pump cardiac surgery.

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