Efficacy of autotransfusion in spine surgery: Comparison of autotransfusion alone and with hemodilution and apheresis

Robert E. Blais, Alexander G. Hadjipavlou, Gerald Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Study Design. Two prospective groups of patients received intraoperative autologous transfusion during reconstructive spine surgery. Before intraoperative autologous transfusion, one group underwent normovolemic hemodilution and apheresis of blood components in the operating room while being prepared for surgery. The allogeneic blood products needed for transfusion by each group were studied and compared with those of a retrospective group of patients receiving conventional transfusion therapy. Objectives. To determine if a combination of intraoperative autologous transfusion and hemodilution and apheresis decreases reliance on allogeneic blood products and increases autologous transfusions. Summary of Background Data. Transfusion rates of allogeneic red blood cells, which were unchanged by intraoperative autologous transfusion alone, were lowered when treatment included transfusion of these cells and preoperative autologous deposit. However, donor exposures from transfusions of allogeneic platelets and fresh frozen plasma have not been addressed. Method. Preoperative hemodilution and apheresis of autologous red blood cells, fresh plasma, and platelets, performed during induction of anesthesia for spine surgery was followed by intraoperative autologous transfusion using the same supplies. Intra- and postoperative transfusion of blood products to each group were evaluated and compared; allogeneic transfusions were given to a retrospective cohort of patients who received conventional transfusion therapy. Results. Hemodilution and apheresis followed by intraoperative autologous transfusion reduced exposures to individual blood donor products resulting in fewer transfusions and in transfusion of significantly fewer blood products. Intraoperative autologous transfusion alone decreased the number of red blood cells transfused, but required the same donor exposures for fresh frozen plasma and platelet support as the cohort of patients who received conventional transfusion therapy. Conclusions. A combination of hemodilution and apheresis and intraoperative autologous transfusion significantly decreased transfusion of allogeneic blood products and reliance on preoperative autologous deposit. Autologous transfusion of all blood products was significantly increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2795-2800
Number of pages6
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


  • autologous
  • hemodilution
  • intraoperative apheresis
  • spine reconstruction
  • transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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