PloS one 2017 02 2212(2) e0172726 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0172726
Allogeneic red blood cell (RBC) transfusion has been associated with new-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) following cardiac surgery. Prolonged storage time of RBC may increase the risk. The primary aim of the study was to evaluate whether the storage time of RBC is associated with development of POAF.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Pre-, per- and postoperative data were retrieved from the Western Denmark Heart Registry and local blood banks regarding patients who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery, valve surgery or combined procedures in Aalborg or Aarhus University Hospital during 2010-2014. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the risk of POAF according to transfusion of RBC on the day of surgery. Furthermore, we determined trend in storage time of RBC according to risk of POAF using restricted cubic splines. Patients with a history of preoperative atrial fibrillation, patients who received transfusions preoperative and patients who died at the day of surgery were among excluded patients.
A total of 2,978 patients with a mean age of 66.4 years were included and 609 patients (21%) received RBC transfusion on the day of surgery. POAF developed in 752 patients (25%) and transfused patients were at an increased risk compared with non-transfused patients (adjusted Odds Ratios for patients receiving RBC: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.11-1.69, P-value = 0.004). However, RBC transfusion was not necessarily the cause of POAF and may only be a marker for development of POAF. There was no significant association between storage time of RBC and POAF.
In contrast to intraoperative allogeneic RBC transfusion in general, increased storage time of RBC is not associated with development of POAF in cardiac surgery.