Greater Volume of Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution May Aid in Reducing Blood Transfusions After Cardiac Surgery

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Annals of thoracic surgery


BACKGROUND: Perioperative red blood cell transfusions (RBC) are associated with increased morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery. Acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) is recommended to reduce perioperative transfusions; however, supporting data are limited and conflicting. We describe the relationship between ANH and RBC transfusions after cardiac surgery using a multi-center registry.

METHODS: We analyzed 13,534 patients undergoing cardiac surgery between 2010 and 2014 at any of the 26 hospitals participating in a prospective cardiovascular perfusion database. The volume of ANH (no ANH, <400 >mL, 400 to 799 mL, ≥ 800 mL) was recorded and linked to each center's surgical data. We report adjusted relative risks reflecting the association between the use and amount of ANH and the risk of perioperative RBC transfusion. Results were adjusted for preoperative risk factors, procedure, body surface area, preoperative hematocrit, and center.

RESULTS: The ANH was used in 17% of the patients. ANH was associated with a reduction in RBC transfusions (RRadj [adjusted risk ratio] 0.74, p < 0.001). Patients having 800 mL or greater of ANH had the most profound reduction in RBC transfusions (RRadj 0.57, p < 0.001). Platelet and plasma transfusions were also significantly lower with ANH. The ANH population had superior postoperative morbidity and mortality compared with the no ANH population.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant association between ANH and reduced perioperative RBC transfusion in cardiac surgery. Transfusion reduction is most profound with larger volumes of ANH. Our findings suggest the volume of ANH, rather than just its use, may be an important feature of a center's blood conservation strategy.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Blood Transfusion, Autologous; Blood Volume; Cardiac Surgical Procedures; Erythrocyte Transfusion; Female; Hematocrit; Hemodilution; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Preoperative Care; Prospective Studies

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page