BACKGROUND: Perioperative blood transfusion and subsequent development of postoperative infectious complications may lead to poor prognosis of patients with colorectal cancer. It has been suggested that the development of postoperative infectious complications may be related to the storage time of the transfused blood. Therefore, we studied the relationship between blood storage time and the development of disease recurrence and long-term survival after colorectal cancer surgery. METHODS: Preoperative and postoperative data were prospectively recorded in 740 patients undergoing elective resection for primary colorectal cancer. None of the patients received preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Endpoints were overall survival and disease recurrence in the subgroup of patients operated on with curative intention who also survived the first 30 days after operation. Storage of buffy-coat-depleted red cells suspended in saline, adenine, glucose, and mannitol blood for 21 days was used as cut-off point. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 6.8 years (range, 5.4 years to 7.9 years), and median overall survival was 4.6 years for 288 nontransfused patients and 3.0 years for 452 transfused patients (P = 0.004). The survival of patients receiving blood exclusively stored < 21 days was 2.5 years. For patients receiving any blood stored > or = 21 days, survival was 3.7 years (P = 0.12). Among patients with curative resection (n = 532), the hazard ratio of disease recurrence was 1.5 (95 percent CI; 1.1 to 2.2) and 1.0 (95 percent CI; 0.7 to 1.4) in the two transfused groups, respectively, compared with the nontransfused group after multivariable correction for patient age, gender, colonic/rectal tumor localization, Dukes classification, blood loss, and postoperative infectious complications. CONCLUSION: Transfusion of buffy-coat-depleted red cells suspended in saline, adenine, glucose, and mannitol blood stored for < 21 days may be an independent risk factor for development of recurrence after elective colorectal cancer surgery.
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, 2001, Vol 44, Issue 7, p. 955-964