Exploring the components of bleeding outcomes in transfusion trials for patients with hematologic malignancy
Clinically significant bleeding in patients with hematologic malignancies is a heterogeneous composite outcome currently defined as World Health Organization (WHO) bleeding Grades 2, 3, and 4. However, the clinical significance of some minor bleeds categorized as WHO Grades 1 and 2 remains controversial. We analyzed the number and frequency of individual signs and symptoms of WHO Grades 1 and 2 bleeds and explored their association with more severe incident bleeds graded as WHO Grades 3 and 4. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS We aggregated daily bleeding assessment data from three randomized controlled trials conducted in patients with hematologic malignancies that used bleeding as an outcome. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to identify signs and symptoms categorized as WHO Grades 1 and 2 bleeds that were associated with more severe bleeds (Grades 3 and 4). RESULTS We collected data from 315 patients (n = 5476 daily bleeding assessments; 3383 [61.8%] with a bleed documented). A total of 98.3% (3326/3383) were Grade 1 and 2 bleeds and 1.7% (57/3383) were Grades 3 and 4. Grade 1 and 2 bleeds were composed of 20 different bleeding signs and symptoms. Hematuria (hazard ratio, 16.1; 95% confidence interval, 4.4-59.2; P < .0001) was associated with incident Grade 3 or 4 bleeds. CONCLUSION In patients with hematologic malignancy, only hematuria (microscopic and/or macroscopic) was associated with more severe incident bleeds. This findings require validation in independent data sets.
Patients with haematologic malignancies and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (3 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), n= 315).
Less severe bleeds (WHO Grades 1 and 2).
More severe bleeds (WHO Grades 3 and 4).
The total data aggregated from the 3 RCTs was 5476 daily bleeding assessments, 61.8% with a bleed documented. A total of 98.3% were Grade 1 and 2 bleeds and 1.7% were Grades 3 and 4. Grade 1 and 2 bleeds were composed of 20 different bleeding signs and symptoms. Haematuria was associated with incident Grade 3 or 4 bleeds. In patients with hematologic malignancy, only haematuria was associated with more severe incident bleeds.
Perioperative oral eltrombopag versus intravenous immunoglobulin in patients with immune thrombocytopenia: a non-inferiority, multicentre, randomised trial
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.
Effect of Fibrinogen Concentrate vs Cryoprecipitate on Blood Component Transfusion After Cardiac Surgery: The FIBRES Randomized Clinical Trial
Importance: Excessive bleeding is a common complication of cardiac surgery. An important cause of bleeding is acquired hypofibrinogenemia (fibrinogen level <1.5-2.0 g/L), for which guidelines recommend fibrinogen replacement with cryoprecipitate or fibrinogen concentrate. The 2 products have important differences, but comparative clinical data are lacking. Objective: To determine if fibrinogen concentrate is noninferior to cryoprecipitate for treatment of bleeding related to hypofibrinogenemia after cardiac surgery. Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized clinical trial at 11 Canadian hospitals enrolling adult patients experiencing clinically significant bleeding and hypofibrinogenemia after cardiac surgery (from February 10, 2017, to November 1, 2018). Final 28-day follow-up visit was completed on November 28, 2018. Interventions: Fibrinogen concentrate (4 g; n = 415) or cryoprecipitate (10 units; n = 412) for each ordered dose within 24 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcome was blood components (red blood cells, platelets, plasma) administered during 24 hours post bypass. A 2-sample, 1-sided test for the ratio of the mean number of units was conducted to evaluate noninferiority (threshold for noninferiority ratio, <1.2). Results: Of 827 randomized patients, 735 (372 fibrinogen concentrate, 363 cryoprecipitate) were treated and included in the primary analysis (median age, 64 [interquartile range, 53-72] years; 30% women; 72% underwent complex operations; 95% moderate to severe bleeding; and pretreatment fibrinogen level, 1.6 [interquartile range, 1.3-1.9] g/L). The trial met the a priori stopping criterion for noninferiority at the interim analysis after 827 of planned 1200 patients were randomized. Mean 24-hour postbypass allogeneic transfusions were 16.3 (95% CI, 14.9 to 17.8) units in the fibrinogen concentrate group and 17.0 (95% CI, 15.6 to 18.6) units in the cryoprecipitate group (ratio, 0.96 [1-sided 97.5% CI, -infinity to 1.09; P < .001 for noninferiority] [2-sided 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.09; P = .50 for superiority]). Thromboembolic events occurred in 26 patients (7.0%) in the fibrinogen concentrate group and 35 patients (9.6%) in the cryoprecipitate group. Conclusions and Relevance: In patients undergoing cardiac surgery who develop clinically significant bleeding and hypofibrinogenemia after cardiopulmonary bypass, fibrinogen concentrate is noninferior to cryoprecipitate with regard to number of blood components transfused in a 24-hour period post bypass. Use of fibrinogen concentrate may be considered for management of bleeding in patients with acquired hypofibrinogenemia in cardiac surgery. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03037424.
Peri-Operative Eltrombopag or Immune Globulin for Patients with Immune Thrombocytopaenia (The Bridging ITP Trial): Methods and Rationale
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.
Sex-mismatched red blood cell transfusions and mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Vox sanguinis. 2019
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Selection of a compatible red blood cell (RBC) unit does not include matching for donor sex. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to summarize the evidence examining the impact of sex-mismatched RBC transfusion on recipient mortality. MATERIALS AND METHODS Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched from inception up to 23 November 2018. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies were included in the search. Eligible studies reported on the impact of sex-matched compared to sex-mismatched RBC transfusion on recipient mortality. Two investigators independently extracted data and assessed study quality. A three-level meta-analytic model was applied to emphasize the unknown dependence among the effect sizes. RESULTS Five retrospective observational studies (n = 86 737) were included; no RCTs were found. Sex-mismatched RBC transfusions were associated with a higher risk of death compared with sex-matched transfusions (pooled hazard ratio [HR]: 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-1.24). In the subgroup of cardiovascular surgery (n = 57 712), there was no significant increase in mortality with sex-mismatched transfusions (pooled HR: 1.08; 95% CI: 0.95-1.22). The data were prone to confounding, selection bias and reporting bias. Certainty of the evidence was very low. CONCLUSION Sex-mismatched RBC transfusions were associated with an increased risk of death in this pooled analysis. However, the certainty of the evidence was very low from observational studies. The need to match donor and recipient sex for transfusions requires further investigation because of the potential widespread impact.
Systematic reviews of guidelines and studies for single versus multiple unit transfusion strategies
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.
Systematic review of rituximab for autoimmune diseases: a potential alternative to intravenous immune globulin
BACKGROUND The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab has immune-modulatory effects similar to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the efficacy and safety of rituximab in autoimmune diseases that are also treated with IVIG. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS The most common indications for immune modulation with IVIG, as identified from a 2012 regional audit in Canada, were chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), myasthenia gravis, multifocal motor neuropathy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren's syndrome, and pemphigus vulgaris. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library until July 2016 for studies evaluating rituximab in each of these conditions. The primary outcome in our meta-analysis was clinical response at 6 months as defined by disease-specific criteria in randomized trials. We also calculated pooled proportions of responders within disease types from observational studies. RESULTS Ninety-five rituximab studies were identified: 86 were observational studies in patients with ITP (n = 1746), SLE (n = 1047), pemphigus vulgaris (n = 564), Sjogren's syndrome (n = 138), myasthenia gravis (n = 66), and CIDP (n = 31) and nine were randomized controlled trials (n = 992) in patients with ITP, SLE, and Sjogren's syndrome that compared rituximab with placebo plus standard of care. Among randomized trials, response rates were higher with rituximab (relative risk, 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.83). The pooled proportion of rituximab responses ranged from 94% (95% CI, 88%-98%) for pemphigus vulgaris to 48% (95% CI, 30%-66%) for CIDP. Rituximab was generally well tolerated in observational studies although in the randomized trials, adverse events were more common in the rituximab group. CONCLUSION Rituximab is an immune-modulating agent with biologic activity across many autoimmune conditions. Our data support the use of comparative trials with broad eligibility criteria to evaluate rituximab as an alternative to IVIG in autoimmune diseases.
Analysis of Red Blood Cell Storage Duration and in-Hospital Mortality Using Time Dependent Exposure: Is the Oldest Blood Bad?
Transfusion. 2017;57((53)):33A.. c26-a02c
Red blood cell storage and in-hospital mortality: a secondary analysis of the INFORM randomised controlled trial
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.
Systematic Reviews of Guidelines and Studies for Single Versus Multiple Unit Transfusion Strategies
Transfusion. 2017;57((53)):183A.. cp308.