Objectives. To evaluate the risk of long-term biochemical recurrence for patients who receive cell-salvaged blood. Radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) is historically associated with the potential for significant blood loss. Different blood management strategies include blood donation, hemodilution, preoperative erythropoietin, and intraoperative cell salvage (IOCS). Oncologic surgeons have been reluctant to use IOCS because of the potential risk of tumor dissemination. Methods. We retrospectively analyzed an RRP database and compared those who did and did not receive cell-salvaged blood by baseline parameters, pathologic outcomes, and biochemical recurrence. We also stratified our patients according to the risk of recurrence. Results. A total of 1038 patients underwent RRP between 1992 and 2003. Of these, 265 (25.5%) received cell-salvaged blood and 773 (74.5%) did not. The two groups had similar baseline characteristics. No differences were found between the two groups when compared by risk of seminal vesicle invasion or positive surgical margins. Those who received cell-salvaged blood had a lower risk of extraprostatic extension. The median follow-up for all patients was 40.2 months. The overall risk of biochemical recurrence at 5 years for those who did and did not receive cell-salvaged blood was 15% and 18%, respectively (P = 0.76). No significant differences were found in the risk of biochemical recurrence when patients were stratified according to low, intermediate, and high risk. Conclusions. IOCS is a safe and effective blood management strategy for patients undergoing RRP. The risk of biochemical recurrence was not increased for those who received cell-salvaged blood. Concerns about spreading tumor cells by way of IOCS would seem unwarranted.
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