Predictors of transfusion outcomes in pediatric complex cranial vault reconstruction: a multicentre observational study from the Pediatric Craniofacial Collaborative Group

Can J Anaesth. 2019 May;66(5):512-526. doi: 10.1007/s12630-019-01307-w. Epub 2019 Feb 14.


Purpose: Pediatric patients undergoing complex cranial vault reconstruction (CCVR) are at risk of significant perioperative blood loss requiring blood product transfusion. Minimizing allogeneic blood product transfusion is an important goal because of the associated risks and cost. The impact of patient and surgical variables on transfusion is unknown in this population. Our primary aim was to examine relationships between demographic and perioperative variables and blood product transfusion outcomes in CCVR.

Methods: The multicentre Pediatric Surgery Perioperative Registry was checked for children undergoing CCVR between June 2012 and September 2016. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed examining patient, procedure, and blood conservation variables and their relationship to three outcomes: intraoperative red blood cell-containing product (RBC-CP) transfusion, total perioperative blood donor exposures, and transfusion-free hospitalization.

Results: The registry search returned data from 1,814 cases. Age and surgical duration were the only variables significantly associated with all three outcomes studied. Predictors of reduced RBC-CP transfusion included lower American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status and antifibrinolytic administration. Total cranial vault reconstruction, intraoperative vasoactive infusion, and presence of a tracheostomy predicted increased donor exposures. Increased body weight, higher preoperative hematocrit, and utilization of intraoperative cell saver and transfusion protocols were associated with transfusion-free hospitalization.

Conclusion: Clinical factors associated with increased allogeneic blood product transfusion in pediatric CCVR include: age ≤ 24 months, ASA status ≥ III, preoperative anemia, prolonged surgical duration, lack of intraoperative antifibrinolytic use, lack of intraoperative cell saver use, and the lack of transfusion protocols.