Department of Anesthesiology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University & The Research Units of West China, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, No.37 Guoxue Street, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China.
*Co-first authors with equal contributions to this work.
Background: Liver transplantation (LT) is associated with a significant risk of intraoperative hemorrhage and massive blood transfusion. However, there are few relevant reports addressing the long-term impacts of massive transfusion (MT) on liver transplantation recipients.
Aim: To assess the effects of MT on the short and long-term outcomes of adult liver transplantation recipients.
Methods: We included adult patients who underwent liver transplantation at West China Hospital from January 2011 to February 2015. MT was defined as red blood cell (RBC) transfusion of ≥10 units within 48 hours since the application of LT. Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative information were collected for data analyzing. We used one-to-one propensity-matching to create pairs. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to compare long-term outcomes of LT recipients between the MT and non-MT groups. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the risk factors associated with MT in LT.
Results: Finally, a total of 227 patients were included in our study. After propensity score matching, 59 patients were categorized into the MT and 59 patients in non-MT groups. Compared with the non-MT group, the MT group had a higher 30-day mortality (15.3% vs 0, p=0.006), and a higher incidence of postoperative complications, including postoperative pulmonary infection, abdominal hemorrhage, pleural effusion and severe acute kidney injury. Furthermore, MT group had prolonged postoperative ventilation support (42 vs 25 h, p=0.007) and prolonged durations of ICU (12.9 vs 9.5 d, p<0.001) stay. Multivariate COX regression indicated that massive transfusion (OR: 2.393, 95% CI: 1.164-4.923, p=0.018) and acute rejection (OR: 7.295, 95% CI: 2.108-25.246, p=0.02) were significant risk factors affecting long-term survivals of LT patients. The 1-year and 3-year survival rates patients in MT group were 82.5% and 67.3%, respectively, while those of non-MT group were 93.9% and 90.5%, respectively. The MT group exhibited a lower long-term survival rate than the non-MT group (HR: 2.393, 95% CI: 1.164-4.923, p<0.001). Finally, the multivariate logistic regression revealed that preoperative hemoglobin <118 g/L (OR: 5.062, 95% CI: 2.292-11.181, p<0.001) and intraoperative blood loss ≥1100 ml (OR: 3.212, 95% CI: 1.586-6.506, p = 0.001) were the independent risk factor of MT in patients undergoing LT.
Conclusion: Patients receiving MT in perioperative periods of LT had worse short-term and long-term outcomes than the non-MT patients. Massive transfusion and acute rejection were significant risk factors affecting long-term survivals of LT patients, and intraoperative blood loss of over 1100 ml was the independent risk factor of MT in patients undergoing LT. The results may offer valuable information on perioperative management in LT recipients who experience high risk of MT.
Keywords: liver transplantation, massive transfusion, long-term outcomes, complications, risk factors