From the Journals

Transfusions, readmissions higher for patients with CLL after cardiac surgery



Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia have similar outcomes following cardiac operations as patients without CLL, but commonly require more blood transfusions, according to the results of retrospective cohort study using the 2010-2017 Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD).

The researchers assessed all adult patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting, valve repair, or valve replacement as identified using the NRD.

Patients were stratified by history of CLL and the incidence of in-hospital mortality, perioperative complications, blood transfusions, and readmission within 90 days were examined. A 3:1 nearest-neighbor matching was performed between patients with and without CLL for all primary and secondary outcomes of interest, according to the report, published online in Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Comparable results

A total of 1,250,882 patients in the database were found who underwent cardiac operations. Of these, 0.23% had a diagnosis of CLL. Among 11,237 propensity-matched patients, those with CLL had similar rates of in-hospital mortality (3.8% vs. 2.6%, P = .08) and perioperative complications (33.4% vs. 33.6%, P = .92), compared with their non-CLL counterparts. However, the incidence of infection was comparable (8.5% vs. 9.4%, P = .38).

However, patients with CLL required blood transfusions more frequently (33.7% vs. 28.4%, P = .003) than did patients without CLL. In addition, patients with CLL were more likely to be readmitted within 90 days of discharge, compared with their counterparts, and “respiratory reasons, including pneumonia, contributed significantly to the readmission burden in this cohort,” the researchers, led by Josef Madrigal, BS, of the University of California, Los Angeles, stated.

“The inherent risk of transfusion and the possible benefits of blood conservation interventions must be considered in this patient population. Increased risk of rehospitalization in patients with CLL suggests the need for measures aimed at mitigating the risk of respiratory complications,” the researchers concluded.

There were no conflicts of interest reported in the article.

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