Changes in regional tissue oxygenation saturation and desaturations after red blood cell transfusion in preterm infants

D Seidel, A Bläser, C Gebauer, F Pulzer, U Thome, M Knüpfer
Journal of Perinatology: Official Journal of the California Perinatal Association 2013, 33 (4): 282-7

OBJECTIVE: The study investigated the ability of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to detect subgroups of preterm infants who benefit most from red blood cell (RBC) transfusion in regard to cerebral/renal tissue oxygenation (i) and the number of general oxygen desaturation below 80% (SaO(2) <80%) (ii).

STUDY DESIGN: Cerebral regional (crSO(2)) and peripheral regional (prSO(2)) NIRS parameters were recorded before, during, immediately after and 24 h after transfusion in 76 infants. Simultaneously, SaO(2) <80% were recorded by pulse oximetry. To answer the basic question of the study, all preterm infants were divided into two subgroups according to their pretransfusion crSO(2) values (<55% and ≥55%). This cutoff was determined by a k-means clustering analysis.

RESULT: crSO(2) and prSO(2) increased significantly in the whole study population. A stronger increase (P<0.0005) of both was found in the subgroup with pretransfusion crSO(2) values <55%. Regarding the whole population, a significant decrease (P<0.05) of episodes with SaO(2) <80% was observed. The subgroup with crSO(2) baselines <55% had significant (P<0.05) more episodes with SaO(2) <80% before transfusion. During and after transfusion, the frequency of episodes with SaO(2) <80% decreased more in this group compared with the group with crSO(2) baselines ≥55%.

CONCLUSION: NIRS measurement is a simple, non-invasive method to monitor regional tissue oxygenation and the efficacy of RBC transfusion. Infants with low initial NIRS values benefited most from blood transfusions regarding SaO(2) <80%, which may be important for their general outcome.

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