0
Summaries for Patients |

Erythropoietin To Prevent Blood Transfusion in Patients Having Total Hip Replacement Surgery FREE

[+] Article and Author Information

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(11):S55. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-133-11-200012050-00003
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Patients can lose enough blood during hip replacement surgery to require blood transfusions. Transfusions of blood from other people always carry a small risk for infection or transfusion reactions. Transfusion of blood donated by the patient before surgery (predonation) avoids many of these problems; however, it is inconvenient, and many patients have medical conditions that prevent them from predonating blood. Erythropoietin is a protein made by the kidney that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. It is also manufactured as a drug called epoetin alfa. Giving a person epoetin alfa to build up their blood before hip replacement surgery decreases the need for transfusion. However, the best dose and timing of epoetin alfa treatment before surgery are not known.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To see whether a modified dose of epoetin alfa reduces blood transfusions in patients having hip replacement surgery.

Who was studied?

201 patients having hip replacement surgery who did not predonate blood.

How was the study done?

The researchers randomly assigned each patient to receive four weekly injections of a high dose (40,000 units) of epoetin alfa, a low dose (20,000 units) of epoetin alfa, or placebo, starting 4 weeks before surgery. The placebo looked like the epoetin alfa, but it contained no active ingredients. All patients also received an iron supplement, since the body needs iron to make red blood cells. The researchers then followed the patients to see who needed a blood transfusion. They also monitored patients' blood counts and looked for complications of epoetin alfa therapy, including thromboembolism (blood clots in the legs, brain, or lungs).

What did the researchers find?

Five of 44 (11.4%) patients in the high-dose group and 18 of 79 (22.8%) patients in the low-dose group required transfusions, compared with 35 of 78 (44.9%) patients in the placebo group. Statistical analysis showed that both epoetin alfa groups required significantly fewer transfusions than the placebo group; patients in the high-dose group required the fewest transfusions. Blood counts improved more before surgery in the patients who received epoetin alfa than in patients who received placebo. No differences were noted among the groups in the frequency of thromboembolism.

What were the limitations of the study?

Epoetin alfa is expensive, and the study does not address whether the observed benefit of using it before hip surgery is worth the cost. In addition, the study had limited ability to evaluate the potential side effects of epoetin alfa treatment.

What are the implications of the study?

Both lower and higher doses of epoetin alfa reduce the need for blood transfusion in patients having hip replacement surgery. Further studies should address the safety and costs of epoetin alfa treatment in this setting.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician.

The summary below is from the full report titled “Erythropoietin with Iron Supplementation To Prevent Allogeneic Blood Transfusion in Total Hip Joint Arthroplasty. A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” It is in the 5 December 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 133, pages 845-854). The authors are BG Feagan, CJ Wong, A Kirkley, DWC Johnston, FC Smith, P Whitsitt, SL Wheeler, and CY Lau.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician.

The summary below is from the full report titled “Erythropoietin with Iron Supplementation To Prevent Allogeneic Blood Transfusion in Total Hip Joint Arthroplasty. A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” It is in the 5 December 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 133, pages 845-854). The authors are BG Feagan, CJ Wong, A Kirkley, DWC Johnston, FC Smith, P Whitsitt, SL Wheeler, and CY Lau.

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Comments

Submit a Comment
Submit a Comment

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.

Toolkit

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Advertisement
Related Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
(Required)
(Required)