Consequences of blood loss on growth of artificial metastases

Br J Surg. 1988 Apr;75(4):377-9. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800750427.


Previous studies have shown that lung metastases from a nonimmunogenic sarcoma (LS175) in BN (homozygous for RTln) rats were stimulated by blood transfusions. Enhanced growth was also observed after abdominal surgery combined with allogeneic blood transfusions while syngeneic blood transfusions had no effect. These experimental findings have been confirmed in retrospective clinical studies. The allogeneic blood transfusion effect may be avoided in cancer patients by autologous blood transfusions although this implies blood donation before surgery. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of blood loss before surgery on formation ('take') of lung colonies, and on the outgrowth of established metastases in the BN rat model. These aspects of tumour behaviour were also investigated in rats undergoing surgery, or receiving blood transfusion, or both, after blood loss. The results indicate that blood loss has a profound stimulating effect on the growth of established metastases, but not on the 'take' of tumour cells. This stimulating effect was also present when blood loss was combined with surgery, while previously surgery alone was found to have no effect. Allogeneic and syngeneic transfusions in combination with blood loss both had a strong stimulating effect on growth of established lung metastases. The results indicate that blood loss may be an important factor in determining the outcome of metastatic growth.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Blood Transfusion, Autologous
  • Bloodletting
  • Ileum / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sarcoma, Experimental / secondary*