ISSN: 1300-7777 E-ISSN: 1308-5263
Allogeneic leukocytes in cardiac surgery: Good or bad? [Turk J Hematol]
Turk J Hematol. 2011; 28(3): 160-169 | DOI: 10.5152/tjh.2011.49  

Allogeneic leukocytes in cardiac surgery: Good or bad?

Yavuz M. Bilgin, Anneke Brand
Leiden University Medical, Department Of Immunohematology And Blood Transfusion Center, And Sanquin Bloodbank South West Region, Leiden, The Netherlands

Worldwide, cardiac surgery is a common procedure requiring a large quantity of allogeneic blood products, which are associated with postoperative complications. Leukocytes present in blood products may play a role in these complications, which are referred to as transfusion-related immunomodulation (TRIM). Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in different settings investigated the effects of allogeneic leukocytes in red blood cells (RBCs). Cardiac surgery studies reported a reduction in postoperative infections and mortality in patients that received leukocyte-reduced RBCs compared with leukocyte-containing RBCs; this was mainly due to more deaths due to infections and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in the group that received leukocyte-containing RBCs. Patients with postoperative complications had higher concentrations of inflammatory mediators. These findings suggest that leukocyte-containing transfusion during cardiac surgery induces a second insult to the systemic inflammatory response. In the present review we discuss the possible role of blood transfusions in cardiac surgery. Especially, we focus on the possible role of allogeneic leukocytes associated with postoperative complications after cardiac surgery.

Keywords: Blood transfusions, transfusion-related immunomodulation, leukodepletion, infections, mortality, cardiac surgery


Yavuz M. Bilgin, Anneke Brand. Allogeneic leukocytes in cardiac surgery: Good or bad?. Turk J Hematol. 2011; 28(3): 160-169

Corresponding Author: Yavuz M. Bilgin, Netherlands, The


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Impact Factor (2016) = 0.686