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      Transfusion Strategies for Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

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          Abstract

          The hemoglobin threshold for transfusion of red cells in patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding is controversial. We compared the efficacy and safety of a restrictive transfusion strategy with those of a liberal transfusion strategy. We enrolled 921 patients with severe acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding and randomly assigned 461 of them to a restrictive strategy (transfusion when the hemoglobin level fell below 7 g per deciliter) and 460 to a liberal strategy (transfusion when the hemoglobin fell below 9 g per deciliter). Randomization was stratified according to the presence or absence of liver cirrhosis. A total of 225 patients assigned to the restrictive strategy (51%), as compared with 61 assigned to the liberal strategy (14%), did not receive transfusions (P<0.001) [corrected].The probability of survival at 6 weeks was higher in the restrictive-strategy group than in the liberal-strategy group (95% vs. 91%; hazard ratio for death with restrictive strategy, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 0.92; P=0.02). Further bleeding occurred in 10% of the patients in the restrictive-strategy group as compared with 16% of the patients in the liberal-strategy group (P=0.01), and adverse events occurred in 40% as compared with 48% (P=0.02). The probability of survival was slightly higher with the restrictive strategy than with the liberal strategy in the subgroup of patients who had bleeding associated with a peptic ulcer (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.26 to 1.25) and was significantly higher in the subgroup of patients with cirrhosis and Child-Pugh class A or B disease (hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.11 to 0.85), but not in those with cirrhosis and Child-Pugh class C disease (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.45 to 2.37). Within the first 5 days, the portal-pressure gradient increased significantly in patients assigned to the liberal strategy (P=0.03) but not in those assigned to the restrictive strategy. As compared with a liberal transfusion strategy, a restrictive strategy significantly improved outcomes in patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding. (Funded by Fundació Investigació Sant Pau; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00414713.).

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          Most cited references 19

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          International consensus recommendations on the management of patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

          A multidisciplinary group of 34 experts from 15 countries developed this update and expansion of the recommendations on the management of acute nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) from 2003. The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) process and independent ethics protocols were used. Sources of data included original and published systematic reviews; randomized, controlled trials; and abstracts up to October 2008. Quality of evidence and strength of recommendations have been rated by using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria. Recommendations emphasize early risk stratification, by using validated prognostic scales, and early endoscopy (within 24 hours). Endoscopic hemostasis remains indicated for high-risk lesions, whereas data support attempts to dislodge clots with hemostatic, pharmacologic, or combination treatment of the underlying stigmata. Clips or thermocoagulation, alone or with epinephrine injection, are effective methods; epinephrine injection alone is not recommended. Second-look endoscopy may be useful in selected high-risk patients but is not routinely recommended. Preendoscopy proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy may downstage the lesion; intravenous high-dose PPI therapy after successful endoscopic hemostasis decreases both rebleeding and mortality in patients with high-risk stigmata. Although selected patients can be discharged promptly after endoscopy, high-risk patients should be hospitalized for at least 72 hours after endoscopic hemostasis. For patients with UGIB who require a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a PPI with a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor is preferred to reduce rebleeding. Patients with UGIB who require secondary cardiovascular prophylaxis should start receiving acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) again as soon as cardiovascular risks outweigh gastrointestinal risks (usually within 7 days); ASA plus PPI therapy is preferred over clopidogrel alone to reduce rebleeding.
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            Efficacy of red blood cell transfusion in the critically ill: a systematic review of the literature.

            Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are common in intensive care unit, trauma, and surgical patients. However, the hematocrit that should be maintained in any particular patient because the risks of further transfusion of RBC outweigh the benefits remains unclear. A systematic review of the literature to determine the association between red blood cell transfusion, and morbidity and mortality in high-risk hospitalized patients. MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, and citation review of relevant primary and review articles. Cohort studies that assessed the independent effect of RBC transfusion on patient outcomes. From 571 articles screened, 45 met inclusion criteria and were included for data extraction. Forty-five studies including 272,596 were identified (the outcomes from one study were reported in four separate publications). The outcome measures were mortality, infections, multiorgan dysfunction syndrome, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The overall risks vs. benefits of RBC transfusion on patient outcome in each study was classified as (i) risks outweigh benefits, (ii) neutral risk, and (iii) benefits outweigh risks. The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for each outcome measure was recorded if available. The pooled odds ratios were determined using meta-analytic techniques. Forty-five observational studies with a median of 687 patients/study (range, 63-78,974) were analyzed. In 42 of the 45 studies the risks of RBC transfusion outweighed the benefits; the risk was neutral in two studies with the benefits outweighing the risks in a subgroup of a single study (elderly patients with an acute myocardial infarction and a hematocrit <30%). Seventeen of 18 studies, demonstrated that RBC transfusions were an independent predictor of death; the pooled odds ratio (12 studies) was 1.7 (95% confidence interval, 1.4-1.9). Twenty-two studies examined the association between RBC transfusion and nosocomial infection; in all these studies blood transfusion was an independent risk factor for infection. The pooled odds ratio (nine studies) for developing an infectious complication was 1.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.2). RBC transfusions similarly increased the risk of developing multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (three studies) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (six studies). The pooled odds ratio for developing acute respiratory distress syndrome was 2.5 (95% confidence interval, 1.6-3.3). Despite the inherent limitations in the analysis of cohort studies, our analysis suggests that in adult, intensive care unit, trauma, and surgical patients, RBC transfusions are associated with increased morbidity and mortality and therefore, current transfusion practices may require reevaluation. The risks and benefits of RBC transfusion should be assessed in every patient before transfusion.
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              Transfusion-related immunomodulation (TRIM): an update.

              Allogeneic blood transfusion (ABT)-related immunomodulation (TRIM) encompasses the laboratory immune aberrations that occur after ABT and their established or purported clinical effects. TRIM is a real biologic phenomenon resulting in at least one established beneficial clinical effect in humans, but the existence of deleterious clinical TRIM effects has not yet been confirmed. Initially, TRIM encompassed effects attributable to ABT by immunomodulatory mechanisms (e.g., cancer recurrence, postoperative infection, or virus activation). More recently, TRIM has also included effects attributable to ABT by pro-inflammatory mechanisms (e.g., multiple-organ failure or mortality). TRIM effects may be mediated by: (1) allogeneic mononuclear cells; (2) white-blood-cell (WBC)-derived soluble mediators; and/or (3) soluble HLA peptides circulating in allogeneic plasma. This review categorizes the available randomized controlled trials based on the inference(s) that they permit about possible mediator(s) of TRIM, and examines the strength of the evidence available for relying on WBC reduction or autologous transfusion to prevent TRIM effects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                January 03 2013
                January 03 2013
                : 368
                : 1
                : 11-21
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1211801
                23281973
                28f43d3a-d1e2-4b29-8fca-84ee60994e95
                © 2013
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