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Cerebral and intestinal oxygen saturation of different volumes of red blood cell transfusion in preterm infants.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the effects of 20 ml/kg and 15 ml/kg red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) on cerebral and intestinal tissue oxygenation, the number of administered transfusions, and neonatal complications in premature infants with anemia.

METHODS: This prospective, randomized, partially blinded observational study investigated anemic neonates of gestational age < 32 weeks (Registration ID: ChiCTR 1,900,026,672). The infants were randomly assigned to receive 15 or 20 ml/kg red blood cell transfusion. Cerebral and intestinal tissue oxygen saturation (cer rSO2 and int rSO2 ) were collected 2 h before transfusion, 2, 4, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h after the beginning of transfusion by Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We also collected vital signs including heart rate (HR), peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2 ), and mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) 2 h before infusion, 2 h, and 6 h after the beginning of transfusion. Then we analyzed and compared regional oxygen saturation(rSO2 ), fractional tissue oxygen extraction (FTOE), and other outcome readouts (blood transfusion numbers, changes in hematocrit and hemoglobin, hospitalization days, HR, SpO2, MABP, and complications) between the two groups. The intraindividual comparisons of the above readouts before transfusion and those after transfusion were also evaluated within each group.

RESULT: 73 newborns received 20 ml/kg (large volume group) and 78 newborns received 15 ml/kg transfusion (small volume group). There was no significant difference in cer rSO2, int rSO2 , Cerebral fractional tissue oxygen extraction (cFTOE), and intestinal fractional tissue oxygen extraction (iFTOE) between the two groups. rSO2, MABP, and SpO2 increased; HR, cFTOE, and iFTOE decreased following transfusion in both groups. The transfusion number of the large volume group is significantly less than that of the small volume group (1.9 ± 0.3 vs. 2.6 ± 0.9, p < 0.01) and hospitalization days were also less than those in the low volume group (44.3 ± 8.2 vs. 47.6 ± 9.8, p < 0.05). The increases in hematocrit and hemoglobin were higher in the large volume group than those in small volume (hematocrit increment (%),10.7 ± 4.2 vs. 10.1 ± 5.9, p = 0.015; Hb concentration after blood transfusion (g/L) 132.3 ± 11.1 vs. 127.4 ± 15.4, p = 0.028).

CONCLUSION: After the transfusion, cer rSO2 and int rSO2 increased significantly, FTOE decreased and vital signs improved in both the 15 ml/kg and 20 ml/kg groups, and these changes were not significantly different between the two groups. However, the larger group showed a more pronounced increase in hematocrit and hemoglobin, a reduction in the total number of transfusions, and a shorter duration of hospitalization after transfusion in preterm infants without increasing complications.

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