Transfusion-associated circulatory overload and high blood pressure: A multicentre retrospective study in Japan

Asashi Tanaka, Akihiko Yokohama, Shin-Ichiro Fujiwara, Yasuhiko Fujii, Makoto Kaneko, Yasunori Ueda, Takashi Abe, Yoko Kato, Yuichi Hasegawa, Kazuhiko Ikeda, Keizo Fujino, Mayumi Matsumoto, Shigeyoshi Makino, Shuichi Kino, Akihiro Takeshita, Kazuo Muroi
Vox Sanguinis 2021 February 2

BACKGROUND: Transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) is an adverse reaction associated with a high risk of mortality. The actual incidence of TACO and hypertension associated with transfusion in Japan is unknown.

METHODS: A multicentre retrospective observational study was conducted across 23 institutions during the 1-year period of 2016. Patients were included if they developed TACO or their blood pressure (either systolic or diastolic) increased by at least 30 mmHg during the transfusion. TACO was confirmed by the primary physicians and transfusion medicine teams and recorded in the data on passive surveillance, and additional data were extracted from electronic medical records.

RESULTS: In our patient cohort of 31 384 patients who underwent transfusion, the incidence of TACO and hypertension was 0·03% and 0·2%, respectively. However, 43% of the participating institutions didn't report any cases. When comparing risk factors between the TACO and hypertension groups, there were significant differences in comorbidities, such as abnormal findings on chest x-ray. Significant differences between the two groups were observed post-transfusion pulse rate, body temperature and oxygen saturation (P < 0·01). In the group of patients with hypertension, the level of BNP increased significantly after transfusion in 45% (5/11) of the patients. We identified 4 patients in the hypertension group who met the new ISBT's TACO criteria.

CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that more attention should be given to TACO in Japan, particularly in terms of improving surveillance systems. For the early diagnosis of TACO, it is crucial to carefully monitor vital signs including blood pressure.

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