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Preoperative treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin or predeposit of autologous blood in women undergoing primary hip replacement

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Controversy exists about the advantages of predeposit of autologous blood (PDAB), and whether more comfortable blood conservation regimens may yield comparable results. To test the hypothesis that preoperative treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) with or without acute concomitant normovolaemic haemodilution (ANHD) is as effective as PDAB in reducing allogeneic blood transfusions, we conducted a prospective randomised study in women undergoing primary hip replacement.


Sixty consecutive female patients scheduled for primary hip replacement and suitable for PDAB were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups. Group I (EPO) and II (ANHD) received 600 U/kg rHuEPO s.c. and 100 mg iron saccharate i.v. on day 14 and, if needed, on day 7 before surgery. Additionally, in group II acute normovolaemic haemodilution (ANHD) was implemented after induction of anaesthesia. In group III (PDAB) conventional PDAB up to 3 U, without volume replacement but with concomitant oral iron therapy, was performed starting 4 weeks before surgery.


The blood conservation methods resulted in a comparable net gain of red cells in all 3 groups until the day of surgery. Because of the withdrawal of autologous blood, haemoglobin values before surgery were lower in the PDAB group than in the EPO and ANHD groups, and during surgery were lower in the PDAB and ANHD groups than in the rHuEPO-only group. Applying moderate ANHD in conjunction with preoperative rHuEPO treatment did not yield an incremental decrease in allogeneic transfusions. There was no difference between the groups in the number of patients who received allogeneic transfusions or in the total number of allogeneic units transfused.


Withdrawal of autologous blood is associated with lower pre- and intraoperative haemoglobin levels when compared to preoperative augmentation of red cell mass using rHuEPO. As a measure to reduce allogeneic transfusion requirements, preoperative treatment with rHuEPO may be as effective as standard predeposit of autologous blood in women undergoing primary hip replacement, but requires less preoperative time.

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Keywords: Predeposit; autologous blood; erythropoietin; hip surgery; normovolemic hemodilution

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Departments of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and Surgery, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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