Most Intracerebral Hemorrhage Patients Develop Anemia

Packed red blood cell transfusion linked with improved outcome for intracerebral hemorrhage

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Anemia develops in the majority of patients who are hospitalized for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), and transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBC) is associated with improved outcome, according to a study published in the May issue of Neurosurgery.

Kevin N. Sheth, M.D., from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, and colleagues, investigated whether PRBC transfusion was associated with any benefit in 546 individuals with nontraumatic ICH over a six-year period. Laboratory values, including admission and daily mean hemoglobin, clinical and radiographic characteristics, and cases of PRBC transfusions, were recorded. The aggressiveness of care was evaluated by whether patients instituted a "do not resuscitate" order during their hospitalization. The primary study end point measured was 30-day survival.

The investigators found that 144 of the patients had anemia on admission (26 percent), and anemia developed subsequently in 250 patients. Only 152 patients (28 percent) did not develop anemia. During their hospital stay, 100 patients, 98 of whom were anemic, received PRBC transfusions. PRBC transfusion was correlated with significantly improved 30-day survival (odds ratio, 2.76) in multivariable analysis.

"Anemia is common in patients with ICH and associated with increased mortality. Our data generate the hypothesis that PRBC transfusions may improve survival," the authors write.

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