Safety and efficacy of perioperative cell salvage and autotransfusion after coronary artery bypass grafting: a randomized trial

Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 May;77(5):1553-9. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2003.10.045.


Background: The aim of this study was to ascertain whether cell salvage and autotransfusion after first time elective coronary artery bypass grafting is associated with a significant reduction in the use of homologous blood, a clinically significant derangement of postoperative clotting profiles, or an increased risk of postoperative bleeding.

Methods: Patients were randomized to autotransfusion (n = 98) receiving autotransfused washed blood from intraoperative cell salvage and postoperative mediastinal fluid cell salvage after coronary artery bypass surgery or control (n = 102) receiving stored homologous blood only after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Results: There was no statistical difference between the groups in terms of demographics, comorbidity, risk stratification, or operative details. Mean volume of blood autotransfused was 367 +/- 113 mL. Patients in the autotransfusion group were significantly less likely to receive a homologous blood transfusion compared with controls (odds ratio 0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.22-0.71) and received significantly fewer units of blood per patient compared with controls (0.43 +/- 1.5 vs 0.90 +/- 2.0 U, p = 0.02). There was no difference between the groups in terms of postoperative blood loss, fluid requirements, blood product requirements, or in the incidence of adverse clinical events (p = NS chi(2)). Autotransfusion did not produce any significant derangement of thromboelastograph values or laboratory measures of clotting pathway function (prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, and fibrinogen D-dimer levels) when compared with the effect of homologous blood transfusion (p = NS, repeated measures analysis of variance [MANOVA]).

Conclusions: Autotransfusion is a safe and effective method of reducing the use of homologous bank blood after routine first time coronary artery bypass grafting.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Blood Transfusion, Autologous*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perioperative Care


  • Hemoglobins