BACKGROUND The primary objective of this study was to test and compare the efficacy of currently available intraoperative blood salvage systems via a demonstration of the level of increase in percentage concentration of red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells 9WBC) and platelets (Plt) in the end product. METHODS In a prospective, randomized study, data of 80 patients undergoing elective
cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass in a 6-month period was collected, of which the volume aspirated from the surgical field was processed by either the HemoSep Novel Collection Bag (Advancis Surgical, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts, UK) (N=40) (Group 1) or a cell- saver (C.A.T.S Plus Autotransfusion System, Fresenius Kabi, Bad Homburg, Germany) (N=40) (Group 2). RESULTS Hematocrit levels increased from 23.05%+/-2.7 to 43.02%+/-12 in Group 1 and from 24.5+/-2 up to 55.2+/-9 in Group 2 (p=0.013). The mean number of platelets rose to 225200+/-47000 from 116400 +/-40000 in the HemoSep and decreased from 125200+/-25000 to 96500+/-30000 in the cell-saver group (p=0.00001). The leukocyte count was concentrated significantly better in Group 1 (from 10100+/-4300 to 18120+/-7000; p=0.001). IL-6 levels (pg/dL) decreased from 223+/-47 to 83+/-21 in Group 1 and from 219+/-40 to 200+/-40 in Group 2 (p=0.001). Fibrinogen was protected significantly better in the HemoSep group (from 185+/-35 to 455+/-45; p=0.004). CONCLUSIONS Intraoperative blood salvage systems functioned properly and the resultant blood product was superior in terms of red blood cell species. The HemoSep group had significantly better platelet and leukocyte concentrations and fibrinogen content.