Document Detail

Anemia in the critically ill.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15135458     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The anemia of critical illness is a distinct clinical entity with characteristics similar to that of chronic disease anemia. Several solutions to the processes of anemia, such as blunted erythropoietin production and erythropoietin response and abnormalities in iron metabolism have been developed. The transfusion of RBCs provides immediate correction of low hemoglobin levels, which may be of value in patients with life-threatening anemia. Avoidance of RBC and blood component transfusion, however, is becoming increasingly important as data of adverse clinical outcomes in critically ill patients become clearer. Although the optimal hemoglobin in critically ill patients is not determined, this organ system has a generous reserve. Short-term compensated anemia is tolerated well, while exogenous erythropoietin allows patients to achieve higher hemoglobin concentrations without exposure to transfused blood/blood components. A recent randomized trial enrolled over 1300 critically ill patients to receive either 40,000 units of exogenous erythropoietin or placebo. These authors found that patients randomized to erythropoietin received significantly less allogeneic RBC transfusions and had significantly greater increases in hemoglobin. Although no differences were found between groups in gross clinical outcomes (ie, death, renal failure, myocardial infarction), this study did not have the power to identify small differences in outcomes. This and other studies of exogenous erythropoietin therapy in critically ill patients clearly demonstrate that the bone marrow in many of these patients will respond to the administration of erythropoietin despite their illness, suggesting a blunted production of erythropoietin rather than a blunted response to erythropoietin. Exogenous erythropoietin therefore represents a therapeutic option for treating anemia in critical illness. Acute events in medicine and surgery often lead to many patients becoming anemic. Solutions to this process of anemia should be focused on preventing such events. Anemia after surgery represents an area for prevention. Blood conservation strategies can be performed with adequate results. Monk et al randomized 79 patients undergoing radical prostatectomy to preoperative autologous donation (PAD), preoperative exogenous erythropoietin therapy plus ANH immediately following induction of general anesthesia, and ANH alone. This study concluded that all three techniques resulted in similar hemostasis outcomes (eg, bleeding and transfusion rates), but ANH alone was the least expensive, and ANH plus exogenous erythropoietin and ANH alone resulted in a higher ICU hematocrit compared with PAD. Regardless of these prophylactic strategies, patients still become anemic after surgery or during critical illness. This acute event anemia usually is treated with RBC transfusion; however, autologous blood recovery (cell salvage systems) has been shown to be effective in patients with acute bleeding-related anemia, and this may reduce patients' exposure to allogeneic blood in these patients. There are no universally accepted treatment guidelines for managing anemia, and practice differs between clinicians, hospitals, regions, and countries. Transfusion medicine is evolving and incorporating many new pharmacological agents into the armamentarium of anemia and bleeding therapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that anemia in critically ill patients is common and correlated with poor outcomes. The management of anemia can improve outcomes; however, the optimal management of anemia is not performed universally. New approaches, continued research, and an understanding of anemia may result in more consistent and improved outcomes for critically ill patients.
Aryeh Shander
Related Documents :
17606558 - A decline in the frequency of neonatal exchange transfusions and its effect on exchange...
9803618 - Clinical and laboratory predictors of cholelithiasis in patients with sickle cell anaemia.
6883828 - Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring in patients with sickle-cell anemia during p...
8866138 - Experience with the port-a-cath in sickle cell disease.
22431998 - Early interleukin-6 and slope of monocyte human leukocyte antigen-dr: a powerful associ...
23824138 - Variation and achievement of ambulatory activity among patients with chronic stroke.
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Critical care clinics     Volume:  20     ISSN:  0749-0704     ISO Abbreviation:  Crit Care Clin     Publication Date:  2004 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-05-11     Completed Date:  2004-09-02     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8507720     Medline TA:  Crit Care Clin     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  159-78     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, Pain Management and Hyperbaric Medicine, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, NJ 07631, USA.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Anemia / epidemiology,  etiology*,  physiopathology,  therapy*
Blood Loss, Surgical
Critical Illness*
Erythrocyte Transfusion / statistics & numerical data*
Erythropoiesis / physiology
Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
Inflammation / blood
United States / epidemiology
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Comparison of TaqMan and Epoch Dark Quenchers during real-time reverse transcription PCR.
Next Document:  Blood transfusion practice today.