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Differential effects of plasma and red blood cell transfusions on acute lung injury and infection risk following liver transplantation. Liver Transpl 2011 Feb;17(2):149-58



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Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-79551480222   84 Citations


Patients with chronic liver disease have an increased risk of developing transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) from plasma-containing blood products. Similarly, red blood cell transfusions have been associated with postoperative and nosocomial infections in surgical and critical care populations. Patients undergoing liver transplantation receive large amounts of cellular and plasma-containing blood components, but it is presently unclear which blood components are associated with these postoperative complications. A retrospective cohort study of 525 consecutive liver transplant patients revealed a perioperative TRALI rate of 1.3% (7/525, 95% confidence interval = 0.6%-2.7%), which was associated with increases in the hospital mortality rate [28.6% (2/7) versus 2.9% (15/518), P = 0.02] and the intensive care unit length of stay [2 (1-11 days) versus 0 days (0-2 days), P = 0.03]. Only high-plasma-containing blood products (plasma and platelets) were associated with the development of TRALI. Seventy-four of 525 patients (14.1%) developed a postoperative infection, and this was also associated with increased in-hospital mortality [10.8% (8/74) versus 2.0% (9/451), P < 0.01] and a prolonged length of stay. Multivariate logistic regression determined that the number of transfused red blood cell units (adjusted odds ratio = 1.08, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-1.14, P < 0.01), the presence of perioperative renal dysfunction, and reoperation were significantly associated with postoperative infection. In conclusion, patients undergoing liver transplantation have a high risk of developing postoperative complications from blood transfusion. Plasma-containing blood products were associated with the development of TRALI, whereas red blood cells were associated with the development of postoperative infections in a dose-dependent manner.

Author List

Benson AB, Burton JR Jr, Austin GL, Biggins SW, Zimmerman MA, Kam I, Mandell S, Silliman CC, Rosen H, Moss M


Michael A. Zimmerman MD, FACS Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Acute Lung Injury
Blood Component Transfusion
Chi-Square Distribution
Cross Infection
Erythrocyte Transfusion
Hospital Mortality
Length of Stay
Liver Transplantation
Logistic Models
Middle Aged
Odds Ratio
Retrospective Studies
Risk Assessment
Risk Factors
Time Factors
Treatment Outcome
jenkins-FCD Prod-486 e3098984f26de787f5ecab75090d0a28e7f4f7c0