Relationship between leukocyte count and patient risk for excessive blood loss after cardiac surgery CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE Despotis, G. J., Levine, V., GOODNOUGH, L. T. 1997; 25 (8): 1338-1346


To evaluate the relationship between leukocyte counts and risk for excessive blood loss after cardiac surgery when including numerous demographic, operative, and laboratory factors in the comparison.A prospective, clinical evaluation.A point-of-care laboratory and the cardiac surgical unit of a university-affiliated tertiary center.Patient-related and hematologic variables were measured, using blood specimens obtained from 89 hospitalized patients who underwent cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass.None.Demographic, operative, and transfusion-related data were recorded for each patient. Routinely obtained measurements of laboratory-based prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, complete blood count, and bleeding time were recorded. Hemoglobin concentration, platelet count, and red and white blood cell counts were measured with an on-site instrument before initiation (pre-cardiopulmonary bypass) and before discontinuation (end-cardiopulmonary bypass) of cardiopulmonary bypass. Hematocrit was calculated using recorded variables, and white blood cell percent change values were calculated using white blood cell counts from both periods, using the following formula: [(end-cardiopulmonary bypass - pre-cardiopulmonary bypass)/pre-cardiopulmonary bypass] x 100. When we excluded four patients who had a surgical source of post-cardiopulmonary bypass bleeding, significant (p < .0001) relationships were observed between white blood cell count (r2 = .46) and white blood cell percent change values (r2 = .71) and cumulative mediastinal chest tube drainage in the first 4 postoperative hours in 85 patients. Bayes theorem was used to evaluate the predictive ability of hematologic measurements in identifying patients with excessive bleeding (n = 24), defined as >1000 mL of cumulative chest tube drainage in the first 24 postoperative hours, when compared with patients without excessive bleeding (n = 61). Demographic and operative variables were similar between these patients except that patients with excessive bleeding required more red blood cell, platelet, and plasma transfusions during the postoperative interval. Significantly (p < .0001) greater white blood cell percent change values were obtained in the excessive bleeding cohort (119 +/- 93 percent change) when compared with patients without excessive bleeding (28 +/- 36 percent change).On-site measurements of white blood cell count, as an index of the inflammatory response to extracorporeal circulation, may be useful in identifying patients at increased risk for excessive bleeding. Further studies are needed to examine whether white blood cell counts during multiple cardiopulmonary bypass periods may identify patients with an exaggerated inflammatory response to extracorporeal circulation. By using this information, physicians may be able to intervene with anti-inflammatory medications and blood preservation techniques.

View details for Web of Science ID A1997XQ99400021

View details for PubMedID 9267947