Patients with cirrhosis and splenomegaly commonly develop cytopenias and require the transfusion of blood products. In this study, we evaluated spleen size as a clinical indicator for red blood cell transfusion effectiveness and hypothesized that transfusion would be less effective in patients with splenomegaly. Our retrospective cohort study compared 215 cirrhotic patients with splenomegaly and 114 cirrhotic patients without splenomegaly and measured their respective change in hemoglobin concentration after a unit of transfused red blood cells. The primary endpoint was the percent difference between the measured rise in hemoglobin after transfusion in these cohorts. Patient sex (P < 0.0035), body mass index (P < 0.0001), and the change in hemoglobin concentration after a leukocyte-reduced red blood transfusion (P < 0.0001) were found to be significantly related to spleen size. When compared to the nonsplenomegaly cohort, it was found that the splenomegaly cohort experienced 79.70% (95% CI 71.26%–89.14%) of the change in hemoglobin concentration after red blood cell transfusion when adjusted for patient sex and body mass index. In conclusion, in patients with cirrhosis, increased spleen size was correlated with a decreased responsiveness to red blood cell transfusion when adjusted for patient sex and body mass index.
- blood transfusion
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