Indexed on: 01 Aug '06Published on: 01 Aug '06Published in: Journal of Arthroplasty
This prospective randomized trial compared preoperative autologous blood donation (PAD) with epoetin alfa in patients undergoing primary total knee reconstruction. Fifty adult patients with pretreatment hemoglobin level of 100 to 130 g/L were randomized to either epoetin alfa 40,000 U at preoperative days 14 and 7 or to a standard PAD protocol. Patient characteristics and operative blood loss were similar between groups. Baseline hematological parameters for epoetin alfa vs PAD were not significantly different; however, by the day of surgery the epoetin alfa group had significantly higher hemoglobin (130 vs 114 g/L; P < .001), hematocrit (0.408 vs 0.352; P < .001), and reticulocyte count (3.4 vs 2.1 x 10(9) cells per liter; P < .001). These differences remained significant for 1 to 2 days postoperatively. There was no significant difference in the incidence of allogeneic transfusions between groups (28% for epoetin alfa vs 8% for PAD; P = .1383). Both treatments were generally well tolerated. Epoetin alfa appears to be a safe alternative to PAD in patients who are at risk for transfusion in the perioperative period following total knee arthroplasty.