Blood transfusion after joint arthroplasty occurs in up to two thirds of patients. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to determine the methodological quality of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane to identify RCTs in arthroplasty with blood conservation as the primary outcome from 2001 to 2007. Methodological quality was evaluated using the
Detsky index. We identified 62 RCTs. The mean Detsky score was 73% +/- 14%. Epidemiology affiliation (P = .003), funding support (<.001), and year of publication (<.001) were the predictors of reporting quality, predicting 46% of the variability (R(2) = 0.46). This suggests poor reporting quality of trials in blood conservation. The inclusion of an epidemiologist or a biostatistician for the design of a trial is strongly recommended.