BACKGROUND: To assess the efficacy and safety of restrictive versus liberal red blood cell transfusion thresholds in very low birth weight infants.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane database without any language restrictions. The last search was conducted in August 15, 2020. All randomized controlled trials comparing the use of restrictive versus liberal red blood cell transfusion thresholds in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants were selected. Pooled risk ratio (RR) for dichotomous variable with 95% confidence intervals were assessed by a random-effects model. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality.
RESULTS: Overall, this meta-analysis included 6 randomized controlled trials comprising 3,483 participants. Restrictive transfusion does not increase the risk of all-cause mortality (RR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.17; I2 = 0%; high-quality evidence), and does not increase the composite outcome of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (RR, 1.01, 95% CI, 0.93-1.09; I2 = 7%; high-quality evidence) or other serious adverse events. Results were similar in subgroup analyses of all-cause mortality by weight of infants, gestational age, male infants, and transfusion volume.
CONCLUSIONS: In very low birth weight infants, a restrictive threshold for red blood cell transfusion was not associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, in either short term or long term.
Recommended CitationWang, Peng; Wang, Xing; Deng, Haidong; Li, Linjie; Chong, Weelic; Hai, Yang; and Zhang, Yu, "Restrictive versus liberal transfusion thresholds in very low birth weight infants: A systematic review with meta-analysis" (2021). Department of Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 310.
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