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  • Nuñez JH
  • Colomina J
  • Angles F
  • Pallisó F
  • Acosta HF
  • et al.
Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2024 Apr;144(4):1585-1595 doi: 10.1007/s00402-024-05243-3.
POPULATION:

Patients undergoing primary total hip or knee arthroplasty (5 studies, n= 17,667).

INTERVENTION:

Systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the necessity of routine pretransfusion tests before primary total hip or knee arthroplasty.

COMPARISON:

OUTCOME:

Pooled results revealed a 96.3% over-ordering pretransfusion test rate (95% CI [0.92, 1.00]) among patients undergoing primary total hip or knee arthroplasty. The pooled prevalence of hospital transfusion rate was 3.6%. There were statistically significant differences in preoperative haemoglobin (Hb) levels between patients not requiring transfusion (Hb= 13.9 g/dl; 95% CI [12.59, 15.20]) and those needing transfusion (Hb= 11.9 g/dl; 95% CI [10.69, 13.01]).

BACKGROUND:

The excessive routine ordering of pretransfusion tests (blood typing, screening, and cross-matching) for surgical cases incurs significant unnecessary costs and places an undue burden on transfusion services. This study aims to systematically review the literature regarding the necessity of routine pretransfusion tests before total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and summarize their outcomes.

STUDY METHODS:

A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed. The study's characteristics, the prevalence of over-ordering pretransfusion tests, transfusion rates, and potential cost savings to the healthcare system were analyzed.

RESULTS:

The study included 17,667 patients. Pooled results revealed a 96.3% over-ordering pretransfusion test rate (95% CI: 0.92-1.00; p < 0.001) among patients undergoing primary THA or TKA. The pooled prevalence of hospital transfusion rate was 3.6%. Notably, there were statistically significant differences in preoperative hemoglobin (Hb) levels between patients not requiring transfusion (Hb = 13.9 g/dl; 95% CI 12.59-15.20; p < 0.001) and those needing transfusion (Hb = 11.9 g/dl; 95% CI 10.69-13.01; p < 0.001) (p = 0.03). The per-patient total cost savings ranged from 28.63 to 191.27 dollars.

DISCUSSION:

Our study suggests that routine pre-transfusion testing for all patients undergoing primary THA or TKA may be unnecessary. We propose limiting pretransfusion test orders to patients with preoperative hemoglobin levels below 12 g/dl in unilateral primary TKA or THA. This targeted approach can result in significant cost savings for healthcare systems and transfusion services by reducing the over-ordering of pretransfusion tests in these surgical procedures.