Single, high-dose erythropoietin given 2 days pre-op reduces need for transfused blood

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Luca Weltert, MD
Cardiac Surgery Department of the European Hospital in Rome,
Presentation during the Plenary Scientific Session of the
93rd AATS Annual Meeting in Minneapolis.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Luca Weltert: This study illustrates the efficacy of Human Recombinant Erythropoietin (HRE) in avoiding blood transfusions in the heart surgery setting. And aside from complicated number, tables and statistics tells that HRE can reduce Blood Transfusions as much as 65%, while at the same time not exposing patients to any substantial added risk.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Luca Weltert: As HRE had never been tested in such a massive dose and such a short time frame the entire findings were unexpected as we did not exactly know what to expect! Preliminary studies led us to hope for a protective effect against the need for transfusions, but to what extent it was uncertain. And moreover we did not know if this extremely high dose would cause adverse effects nullifying the advantages.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Luca Weltert: First of all I’d like to think I’ve given a contribution to understating that Transfusions are potentially Harmful and everything must be made to possibly avoid them. HRE it’s not a “silver bullet” capable of solving all problems, but it gives the physicians and most of all the patient a simple tool to spare two third of transfusions.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Luca Weltert: As far as adequately powered for detecting efficacy of the approach, the dimension of the study, being a single center independently financed one, could not met the critical size to detect in depth adverse events. Moreover the time-frame of the observation war relatively short, so the next logical step would be a large, collaborative, mid term study focused on safety of the procedure.

Citation:

Single, high-dose erythropoietin given 2 days pre-op reduces need for transfused blood

Presented at 93rd AATS Annual Meeting presentation regarding:

Single High Dose of Erythropoietin Two Days Before Surgery: A Simplified Short Term Approach to Blood Spare,” by Luca Weltert, MD, Beatrice Rondinelli, MD, Mauro Falco, MD, Alessandro Bellisario, MD, Daniele Maselli, MD, Luca Pierelli, MD, and Ruggero De Paulis, MD. Presentation at the 93rd AATS Annual Meeting. May 4-8, 2013. Minneapolis, MN, during the Plenary Scientific Session on May 6, 8:45 AM CT.
http://aats.org/annualmeeting/