Background: Preoperative anemia and the lowest registered hematocrit value on cardiopulmonary bypass are recognized risk factors for morbidity and mortality after coronary operations. A low hematocrit often results in blood transfusions with all of the associated possible complications. The relative contribution of these three factors to long-term outcome is still not well established. This study aimed to identify the role of preoperative anemia and hemodilution during cardiopulmonary bypass as determinants of morbidity and mortality after coronary operations. Methods: A consecutive series of 3,003 patients was analyzed. They had all undergone isolated coronary operations without receiving blood transfusions during their hospital stay. The preoperative hematocrit and the lowest hematocrit on cardiopulmonary bypass were analyzed in a multivariable model as predictors of major morbidity and operative mortality. Results: After adjustment for the other explanatory variables, both the preoperative hematocrit and the lowest hematocrit on cardiopulmonary bypass were found to be independent risk factors for major morbidity, but not for operative mortality. However, low values of preoperative hematocrit were not associated with an increased morbidity, provided that the lowest hematocrit on cardiopulmonary bypass was maintained above 28%. Median values of the lowest hematocrit on cardiopulmonary bypass below 25% were associated with an increased major morbidity rate. Conclusions: Excessive hemodilution during cardiopulmonary bypass is a risk factor for major morbidity even in the absence of blood transfusions. Techniques that aim to reduce the fall in hematocrit during cardiopulmonary bypass, including blood cardioplegia, may be useful, especially in patients with a low preoperative hematocrit. © 2010 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Ranucci, M., Conti, D., Castelvecchio, S., Menicanti, L., Frigiola, A., Ballotta, A., & Pelissero, G. (2010). Hematocrit on Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Outcome After Coronary Surgery in Nontransfused Patients. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 89(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.07.078