Purpose: We assessed the predefined long-term outcomes in patients randomised in the Transfusion Requirements in Septic Shock (TRISS) trial.
Methods: In 32 Scandinavian ICUs, we randomised 1005 patients with septic shock and haemoglobin of 9 g/dl or less to receive single units of leuko-reduced red cells when haemoglobin level was 7 g/dl or less (lower threshold) or 9 g/dl or less (higher threshold) during ICU stay. We assessed mortality rates 1 year after randomisation and again in all patients at time of longest follow-up in the intention-to-treat population (n = 998) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) 1 year after randomisation in the Danish patients only (n = 777).
Results: Mortality rates in the lower- versus higher-threshold group at 1 year were 53.5 % (268/501 patients) versus 54.6 % (271/496) [relative risk 0.97; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.85-1.09; P = 0.62]; at longest follow-up (median 21 months), they were 56.7 % (284/501) versus 61.0 % (302/495) (hazard ratio 0.88; 95 % CI 0.75-1.03; P = 0.12). We obtained HRQoL data at 1 year in 629 of the 777 (81 %) Danish patients, and mean differences between the lower- and higher-threshold group in scores of physical HRQoL were 0.4 (95 % CI -2.4 to 3.1; P = 0.79) and in mental HRQoL 0.5 (95 % CI -3.1 to 4.0; P = 0.79).
Conclusions: Long-term mortality rates and HRQoL did not differ in patients with septic shock and anaemia who were transfused at a haemoglobin threshold of 7 g/dl versus a threshold of 9 g/dl. We may reject a more than 3 % increased hazard of death in the lower- versus higher-threshold group at the time of longest follow-up.
Keywords: Blood transfusion; Critical care; Hemoglobin; Intensive care unit; Red blood cell transfusion; Septic shock.