Perioperative oral eltrombopag versus intravenous immunoglobulin in patients with immune thrombocytopenia: a non-inferiority, multicentre, randomised trial
Arnold DM, Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Hsia C, Blostein M, Jamula E, Sholzberg M, Lin Y, Kassis J, Larratt L, et al
The Lancet. Haematology. 2020;7(9):e640-e648
BACKGROUND Patients with immune thrombocytopenia are at risk of bleeding during surgery, and intravenous immunoglobulin is commonly used to increase the platelet count. We aimed to establish whether perioperative eltrombopag was non-inferior to intravenous immunoglobulin. METHODS We did a randomised, open-label trial in eight academic hospitals in Canada. Patients were aged at least 18 years, with primary or secondary immune thrombocytopenia and platelet counts less than 100 × 10(9) cells per L before major surgery or less than 50 × 10(9) cells per L before minor surgery. Previous intravenous immunoglobulin within 2 weeks or thrombopoietin receptor agonists within 4 weeks before randomisation were not permitted. Patients were randomly assigned to receive oral daily eltrombopag 50 mg from 21 days preoperatively to postoperative day 7 or intravenous immunoglobulin 1 g/kg or 2 g/kg 7 days before surgery. Eltrombopag dose adjustments were allowed weekly based on platelet counts. The randomisation sequence was generated by a computerised random number generator, concealed and stratified by centre and surgery type (major or minor). The central study statistician was masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was achievement of perioperative platelet count targets (90 × 10(9) cells per L before major surgery or 45 × 10(9) cells per L before minor surgery) without rescue treatment. We did intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses using an absolute non-inferiority margin of -10%. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01621204. FINDINGS Between June 5, 2013, and March 7, 2019, 92 patients with immune thrombocytopenia were screened, of whom 74 (80%) were randomly assigned: 38 to eltrombopag and 36 to intravenous immunoglobulin. Median follow-up was 50 days (IQR 49-55). By intention-to-treat analysis, perioperative platelet targets were achieved for 30 (79%) of 38 patients assigned to eltrombopag and 22 (61%) of 36 patients assigned to intravenous immunoglobulin (absolute risk difference 17·8%, one-sided lower limit of the 95% CI 0·4%; p(non-inferiority)=0·005). In the per-protocol analysis, perioperative platelet targets were achieved for 29 (78%) of 37 patients in the eltrombopag group and 20 (63%) of 32 in the intravenous immunoglobulin group (absolute risk difference 15·9%, one-sided lower limit of the 95% CI -2·1%; p(non-inferiority)=0·009). Two serious adverse events occurred in the eltrombopag group: one treatment-related pulmonary embolism and one vertigo. Five serious adverse events occurred in the intravenous immunoglobulin group (atrial fibrillation, pancreatitis, vulvar pain, chest tube malfunction and conversion to open splenectomy); all were related to complications of surgery. No treatment-related deaths occurred. INTERPRETATION Eltrombopag is an effective alternative to intravenous immunoglobulin for perioperative treatment of immune thrombocytopenia. However, treatment with eltrombopag might increase risk of thrombosis. The decision to choose one treatment over the other will depend on patient preference, resource limitations, cost, and individual risk profiles. FUNDING GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis.
Peri-Operative Eltrombopag or Immune Globulin for Patients with Immune Thrombocytopaenia (The Bridging ITP Trial): Methods and Rationale
Arnold DM, Jamula E, Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Hsia C, Sholzberg M, Lin Y, Kassis J, Blostein M, Larratt L, et al
Thrombosis and haemostasis. 2019
BACKGROUND The Bridging ITP Trial is an open-label randomized trial designed to compare the oral thrombopoietin receptor agonist eltrombopag and intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) for patients with immune thrombocytopaenia (ITP) who require an increase in platelet count before elective surgery. Here, we report the study methods and rationale. METHODS We designed a multi-centre, non-inferiority randomized trial comparing daily oral eltrombopag starting 3 weeks pre-operatively, and IVIG administered 1 week pre-operatively for patients with ITP requiring a platelet count increase prior to surgery. Starting dose of eltrombopag is 50 mg daily with a weekly pre-operative dose titration schedule, and treatment is continued for 1 week after surgical haemostasis is achieved. IVIG is administered at a dose of 1 to 2 g/kg 1 week pre-operatively with the allowance for a second dose within 1 week after surgical haemostasis. The objective of the study is to demonstrate non-inferiority of eltrombopag for the primary endpoint of achieving the pre-operative platelet count threshold (50 x 10(9)/L for minor surgery; or 100 x 10(9)/L for major surgery) and sustaining platelet count levels above the threshold for 1 week after surgical haemostasis is achieved, without the use of rescue treatment. Secondary endpoints include thrombosis, bleeding and patient satisfaction. CONCLUSION The Bridging ITP Trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of eltrombopag as an alternative to IVIG in the peri-operative setting for patients with ITP. The protocol was designed to provide a management strategy that can be applied in clinical practice. CLINICALTRIALS. GOV IDENTIFIER NCT01621204.
Systematic reviews of guidelines and studies for single versus multiple unit transfusion strategies
Shih AW, Liu A, Elsharawi R, Crowther MA, Cook RJ, Heddle NM
BACKGROUND Recent recommendations indicate that one red blood cell (RBC) unit should be transfused at a time, with reassessment after each transfusion, which may be extrapolated from literature supporting restrictive transfusion triggers rather than specific evidence. Therefore, two systematic reviews were performed to identify the following: 1) RBC transfusion guidelines and review articles to determine if single- or multiple-unit transfusion strategies are recommended and 2) studies comparing strategies for evidence of benefit. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, National Guideline Clearinghouse, and Trip Database were searched (inception to June 2017). For the first review, the proportion of articles with single/multiple-unit recommendations was assessed and stratified by article type. For the second review, the primary outcome was RBC use. Secondary outcomes included proportion of transfusion episodes using a single-unit strategy, length of stay, and mortality. RESULTS The first review identified 145 articles for analysis, with 51 transfusion guidelines. Only 14 guidelines (27%) made a recommendation, with most (93%) recommending single-unit transfusions. The second review identified seven cohort studies comparing preimplementation and postimplementation of a policy encouraging single-unit transfusion strategies. Meta-analysis could not be performed for outcomes given inconsistencies in reporting. RBC use decreased by approximately 10 to 41% across studies. CONCLUSION Transfusion guidelines lack recommendations to transfuse to a single-unit strategy. Mostly retrospective cohort studies (six of seven) are inconsistent in outcome reporting but suggest improved RBC use. Further high-quality studies could identify the benefits of a single-unit transfusion strategy, determine the applicability to different clinical settings, and inform future practice guidelines.
Analysis of Red Blood Cell Storage Duration and in-Hospital Mortality Using Time Dependent Exposure: Is the Oldest Blood Bad?
Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Lee K-A, Arnold DM, Crowther M, Devereaux P, Ellis M, Figueroa PI, Kurz A, Roxby D, et al
Transfusion. 2017;57((53)):33A.. c26-a02c
Red blood cell storage and in-hospital mortality: a secondary analysis of the INFORM randomised controlled trial
Cook RJ, Heddle NM, Lee KA, Arnold DM, Crowther MA, Devereaux PJ, Ellis M, Figueroa P, Kurz A, Roxby D, et al
The Lancet. Haematology. 2017;4((11):):e544-e552. e544
BACKGROUND No randomised trials have addressed whether exposure to red blood cells (RBCs) stored longer than 35 days is associated with harm in patients. We aimed to assess the risk of in-hospital mortality associated with transfusing blood stored longer than 35 days. METHODS We did a secondary analysis of the INforming Fresh versus Old Red cell Management (INFORM) trial, a pragmatic, multicentre, randomised controlled trial of patients (≥18 years) admitted to one of six hospitals in Australia, Canada, Israel, and the USA and expected to need RBC transfusions. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive blood in inventory stored for the longest time (standard care) or the shortest time, using a random allocation schedule and stratified by centre and patient ABO blood group. The primary objective of the INFORM trial was to assess all-cause in-hospital mortality in patients with blood group A and O who were transfused. For our exploratory secondary analysis, we classified individuals into one of three mutually exclusive exposure categories on the basis of the maximum storage duration of any blood unit patients had received on each day in hospital: exclusively exposed to RBCs stored no longer than 7 days, exposed to at least one unit of RBCs stored 8-35 days, and exposed to least one unit of RBCs stored longer than 35 days. Our primary objective was to determine the effect on risk of in-hospital death of time-dependent exposure to RBCs stored longer than 35 days compared with exclusive exposure to RBCs stored no longer than 7 days, both in patients of blood groups A and O and all patients. The INFORM trial is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN08118744. FINDINGS Between April 2, 2012, and Oct 21, 2015, 31 497 patients were recruited, and 24 736 patients were eligible for inclusion in this analysis. We excluded nine patients for whom information about the storage duration of transfused blood was missing and one patient whose sex was unknown. 4480 (18%) patients were exposed to RBCs with longest storage, 1392 (6%) patients were exposed exclusively to RBCs with shortest storage, and 18 854 (76%) patients were exposed to RBCs stored 8-35 days. Median follow-up was 11 days (IQR 6-20). Exposure to RBCs stored longer than 35 days was not associated with increased risk of in-hospital death compared with exclusive exposure to the freshest RBC units after adjusting for demographic variables, diagnosis category, and blood product use history (in patients with blood group A or O: hazard ratio 0.94, 95% CI 0.73-1.20, p=0.60; in all patients: 0.91, 0.72-1.14, p=0.40). The risk of in-hospital death also did not differ between patients exposed to blood stored 8-35 days and patients exposed to blood stored 7 days or less (in patients with blood group A or O: 0.92, 0.74-1.15, p=0.48; in all patients: 0.90, 0.73-1.10, p=0.29). INTERPRETATION These data provide evidence that transfusion of blood stored for longer than 35 days has no effect on in-hospital mortality, which suggests that current approaches to blood storage and inventory management are reasonable. FUNDING Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Canadian Blood Services, and Health Canada.
Effect of short-term vs. long-term blood storage on mortality after transfusion
Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Arnold DM, Liu Y, Barty R, Crowther MA, Devereaux PJ, Hirsh J, Warkentin TE, Webert KE, et al
The New England Journal of Medicine. 2016;375((20):):1937-1945
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Background Randomized, controlled trials have suggested that the transfusion of blood after prolonged storage does not increase the risk of adverse outcomes among patients, although most of these trials were restricted to high-risk populations and were not powered to detect small but clinically important differences in mortality. We sought to find out whether the duration of blood storage would have an effect on mortality after transfusion in a general population of hospitalized patients. Methods In this pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial conducted at six hospitals in four countries, we randomly assigned patients who required a red-cell transfusion to receive blood that had been stored for the shortest duration (short-term storage group) or the longest duration (long-term storage group) in a 1:2 ratio. Only patients with type A or O blood were included in the primary analysis, since pilot data suggested that our goal of achieving a difference in the mean duration of blood storage of at least 10 days would not be possible with other blood types. Written informed consent was waived because all the patients received treatment consistent with the current standard of care. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality, which was estimated by means of a logistic-regression model after adjustment for study center and patient blood type. Results From April 2012 through October 2015, a total of 31,497 patients underwent randomization. Of these patients, 6761 who did not meet all the enrollment criteria were excluded after randomization. The primary analysis included 20,858 patients with type A or O blood. Of these patients, 6936 were assigned to the short-term storage group and 13,922 to the long-term storage group. The mean storage duration was 13.0 days in the short-term storage group and 23.6 days in the long-term storage group. There were 634 deaths (9.1%) in the short-term storage group and 1213 (8.7%) in the long-term storage group (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.16; P=0.34). When the analysis was expanded to include the 24,736 patients with any blood type, the results were similar, with rates of death of 9.1% and 8.8%, respectively (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.14; P=0.38). Additional results were consistent in three prespecified high-risk subgroups (patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery, those admitted to intensive care, and those with cancer). Conclusions Among patients in a general hospital population, there was no significant difference in the rate of death among those who underwent transfusion with the freshest available blood and those who underwent transfusion according to the standard practice of transfusing the oldest available blood. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and others; INFORM Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN08118744 .).
Adults with type A or type O blood requiring blood transfusion from six centres in Australia, Canada, Israel and USA (n= 20,858).
Blood stored for the shortest duration (short-term storage group, n= 6,936).
Blood stored for the longest duration (long-term storage group, n= 13,922).
The mean storage duration was 13.0 days in the short-term storage group and 23.6 days in the long-term storage group. There were 634 deaths (9.1%) in the short-term storage group and 1213 (8.7%) in the long-term storage group (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.16). When the analysis was expanded to include the 24,736 patients with any blood type, the results were similar, with rates of death of 9.1% and 8.8%, respectively (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.14). Additional results were consistent in three prespecified high-risk subgroups (patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery, those admitted to intensive care, and those with cancer).
Informing Fresh versus Old Red Cell Management (INFORM) trial: a large international pragmatic randomized trial
Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Barty R Liu Y, Arnold DM, Crowther MA, Devereaux PJ, Ellis M, Figueroa P, Hirsh J, Kurz A, et al
Transfusion. 2016;56((S4)):5A.. p6-030a.
The effect of blood storage duration on in-hospital mortality: a randomized controlled pilot feasibility trial
Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Arnold DM, Crowther MA, Warkentin TE, Webert KE, Hirsh J, Barty RL, Liu Y, Lester C, et al
BACKGROUND Whether the duration of storage of blood has an impact on patient outcomes remains controversial. The objective was to determine feasibility of a comparative effectiveness trial to evaluate duration of storage of blood before transfusion on in-hospital mortality. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A single-center randomized controlled trial was performed at an acute care hospital in Canada between June and December 2010, involving consecutive hospitalized patients needing blood transfusion. Patients (n=910) were randomly assigned in a 1:2 ratio to receive freshest available versus standard-issue (oldest available) blood. Four feasibility criteria were measured: proportion of eligible patients randomized, contrast in age of blood between treatment groups, real-time data acquisition, and trial impact on blood outdating. In-hospital mortality was also reported. RESULTS A total of 1075 of 1129 patients (95.2%) were eligible and 910 of 1075 (84.7%) were randomized: 309 received freshest available blood (1157 units), and 601 received standard-age blood (2369 units). Contrast in mean age of the oldest blood transfused between groups was 14.6 days: 12.0 (standard deviation [SD], 6.8) days in the fresh arm and 26.6 (SD, 7.8) days in the standard arm. Weekly recruitment and event reporting were achieved for all patients. The blood outdate rate was 0.10%. In-hospital mortality was 10.5%: 35 deaths (11.3%) in the fresh arm and 61 deaths (10.1%) in the standard arm (odds ratio, 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73, 1.76). CONCLUSION It is feasible to conduct a large comparative effectiveness trial comparing the effect of freshest available versus standard-issue blood on in-hospital mortality. The wide CI around the estimate for in-hospital mortality supports the need for a large trial. 2012 American Association of Blood Banks.
Can we do a 25,000 patient pragmatic study to address the age of blood and mortality controversy? A pilot to determine feasibility
Heddle NM, Eikelboom JW, Cook RJ, Liu Y, Barty RL, Warkentin TE, Arnold DM, Webert KE, Crowther MA
A randomized controlled trial comparing standard- and low-dose strategies for transfusion of platelets (SToP) to patients with thrombocytopenia
Heddle NM, Cook RJ, Tinmouth A, Kouroukis CT, Hervig T, Klapper E, Brandwein JM, Szczepiorkowski ZM, AuBuchon JP, Barty RL, et al
A noninferiority study was performed comparing low-dose and standard-dose prophylactic platelet transfusions. A double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed in 6 sites in 3 countries. Thrombocytopenic adults requiring prophylactic platelet transfusion were randomly allocated to standard-dose (300-600 x 10(9) platelets/product) or low-dose (150- < 300 x 10(9) platelets/product) platelets. The primary outcome (World Health Organization [WHO] bleeding > or = grade 2) was assessed daily through clinical examination, patient interview, and chart review. A WHO grade was assigned through adjudication. The Data Safety Monitoring Board stopped the study because the difference in the grade 4 bleeding reached the prespecified threshold of 5%. At this time, 129 patients had been randomized and 119 patients were included in the analysis (58 low dose; 61 standard dose). Three patients in the low-dose arm (5. 2%) had grade 4 bleeds compared with none in the standard-dose arm. WHO bleeding grade 2 or higher was 49. 2% (30/61) in the standard-dose arm and 51. 7% (30/58) in the low-dose group (relative risk [RR], 1. 052; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0. 737-1. 502). A higher rate of grade 4 bleeding in patients receiving low-dose prophylactic platelet transfusions resulted in this RCT being stopped. Whether this finding was due to chance or represents a real difference requires further investigation. These clinical studies are registered on (http://www. clinicaltrials. gov) as NCT00420914.