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Increased Mortality Risk during Transfusion after MI

By jeremyc | December 24, 2012

A blood transfusion conducted after a myocardial infarction (MI) increased the mortality risk two folds and also increased the chances of another MI in survivors, according to a meta-analysis conducted recently. The analysis of several related studies reported that around 18 percent of patients that got a blood transfusion died as compared to the 10 percent of patients who did not get a transfusion. A fully adjusted model saw that transfusion was associated with a 2.91 mortality risk ratio versus patients who did not undergo a transfusion.

Moreover, patients who underwent transfusion had twice the risk of going through a subsequent MI, according to the report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. According to Saurav Chatterjee, MD, “Multivariate meta-regression revealed that blood transfusion was associated with a higher risk for mortality independent of baseline hemoglobin level, nadir hemoglobin levels, and change in hemoglobin level during the hospital stay.” Dr. Chatterjee was one of the co-authors of the findings from Brown University, Providence, R.I. He further added, “A practice of routine or liberal blood transfusion in myocardial infarction should not be encouraged but requires investigation in a large trial with low risk for bias.”

Transfusion of certain MI patients is conducted because some studies showed that acute MI patients can suffer from higher mortality and greater complications after reperfusion therapy. Anemia is also associated with a worse prognosis in acute MI. The meta-analysis covered studies during the period from January 1, 1966 to March 31, 2012.

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