The hemostatic effect of transfusing fresh whole blood versus platelet concentrates after cardiac operations

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1988 Oct;96(4):530-4.


The major cause of nonsurgical bleeding after cardiopulmonary bypass is delayed recovery of platelet count and function. Recovery of platelet count and function was compared in 27 patients who were randomized preoperatively to receive after cardiopulmonary bypass either 1 unit of fresh whole blood (15 patients) or 10 units of platelet concentrates (12 patients). Platelet count, bleeding time, platelet aggregation (adenosine diphosphate, collagen, epinephrine, and ristocetin) and platelet thromboxane formation were abnormal after cardiopulmonary bypass in all the patients. The increase of platelet count after 1 unit of fresh whole blood (from 115 +/- 32 X 10(9)/L to 148.5 +/- 36 X 10(9)/L) was similar to that achieved by 4 units of platelets (from 140 +/- 61 X 10(9)/L to 171 +/- 60 X 10(9)/L). The increase was doubled after 10 platelet units (from 140 +/- 61 X 10(9)/L to 209 +/- 55 X 10(9)/L). Bleeding time returned to normal values after fresh whole blood or after 8 platelet units. However, platelet thromboxane formation was higher after 1 unit of fresh whole blood than after 10 platelet units (95 +/- 25 versus 46 +/- 35 ng/ml, p less than 0.05), as was platelet aggregation response to collagen and epinephrine. The 24-hour blood loss was smaller in the fresh whole blood group (560 +/- 420 ml versus 770 +/- 360 ml), although the difference was not statistically significant. The results suggest that the hemostatic effect of 1 unit fresh whole blood after cardiopulmonary bypass is at least equal, if not superior, to the effect of 10 units of platelets.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass*
  • Female
  • Hemostasis, Surgical*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Platelet Function Tests
  • Platelet Transfusion*
  • Random Allocation