A prospective randomized comparison of three blood conservation strategies for radical prostatectomy

Terri G. Monk, Lawrence T. Goodnough, Mark E. Brecher, John W. Colberg, Gerald L. Andriole, William J. Catalona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Background: Preoperative autologous blood donation is a standard of care for elective surgical procedures requiring transfusion. The authors evaluated the efficacy of alternative blood-conservation strategies including preoperative recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) therapy and acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) in radical retropubic prostatectomy patients. Methods: Seventy-nine patients were prospectively randomized to preoperative autologous donation (3 U autologous blood); rHuEPO plus NH (preoperative subcutaneous administration of 600 U/kg rHuEPO at 21 and 14 days before surgery and 300 U/kg on day of surgery followed by ANH in the operating room); or NH (blinded, placebo injections per the rHuEPO regimen listed previously). Transfusion outcomes, perioperative hematocrit levels, postoperative outcomes, and blood-conservation costs were compared among the three groups. Results: Baseline hematocrit levels were similar in all groups (43% ± 2%). On the day of surgery hematocrit decreased to 34% ± 4% in the preoperative autologous donation group (P < 0.001), increased to 47% ± 2% in the rHuEPO plus ANH group (P < 0.001), and remained unchanged at 43% ± 2% in the ANH group. Allogeneic blood exposure was similar in all groups. The rHuEPO plus ANH group had significantly higher hematocrit levels compared with the other groups throughout the hospitalization (P < 0.001). Average transfusion costs were significantly lower for ANH ($194 ± $192) compared with preoperative autologous donation ($690 ± $128; P < 0.001) or rHuEPO plus NH ($1,393 ± $204, P < 0.001). Conclusions: All three blood- conservation strategies resulted in similar allogeneic blood exposure rates, but ANH was the least costly technique. Preoperative rHuEPO plus ANH prevented postoperative anemia but resulted in the highest transfusion costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Epoetin alfa
  • Erythropoietin
  • Hemodilution
  • Preoperative autologous donation


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