Hendriks HG. van der Meer J. Klompmaker IJ. Choudhury N. Hagenaars JA. Porte RJ. de Kam PJ. Slooff MJ. de Wolf JT., Blood loss in orthotopic liver transplantation: a retrospective analysis of transfusion requirements and the effects of autotransfusion of cell saver blood in 164 consecutive patients. Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis. 11 Suppl 1:S87-93, 2000.
Liver transplantation is associated with excessive blood loss. In order to identify factors influencing blood loss and to provide a basis for a pilot study to evaluate recombinant activated factor VII as a hemostatic agent, a retrospective study was performed in 164 consecutive patients with cholestatic or noncholestatic liver disease, who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation at a single centre between 1989 and 1996. Transfusion of allogeneic and autologous (cell saver) blood was used as a measurement of blood loss. Transfusion requirements were associated with age, gender, primary disease, Child-Pugh classification, serum levels of activated partial thromboplastin time, antithrombin III, urea and creatinine, platelet number, year of transplantation, length of cold ischemia time and autologous blood transfusion. Of these variables, Child-Pugh classification (P = 0.001), urea (P = 0.0007), year of transplantation (P = 0.002), cold ischemia time (P = 0.01) and autologous blood transfusion (P < 0.0001) were independent predictors of transfusion requirements by multivariate analysis. Thus, blood loss and transfusion requirements depend primarily on the severity of liver disease, quality of the donor liver, experience of the transplantation team and use of autologous (cell saver) blood transfusion. These findings emphasize the need for appropriate drug therapy and a critical reappraisal of current transfusion policy.