A Retrospective Study for Association Between Post-Transfusion Hemoglobin S Level and Pre-Transfusion Hemoglobin S Level at the Next Scheduled Transfusion

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Journal of Clinical Apheresis


Background: Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) frequently undergo prophylactic red blood cell (RBC) exchange transfusion and simple transfusion (RCE/T) to prevent complications of disease, such as stroke. These treatment procedures are performed with a target hemoglobin S (HbS) of ≤30%, or a goal of maintaining an HbS level of <30% immediately prior to the next transfusion. However, there is a lack of evidence-based instructions for how to perform RCE/T in a way that will result in an HbS value <30% between treatments.

Principal objective: To determine whether targets for post-treatment HbS (post-HbS) or post-treatment HCT (post-HCT) can help to maintain an HbS <30% or <40% between treatments.

Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients with SCD treated with RCE/T at Montefiore Medical Center from June 2014 to June 2016. The analysis included patients of all ages, and data including 3 documented parameters for each RCE/T event: post-HbS, post-HCT, and follow-up HbS (F/u-HbS), which is the pre-treatment HbS prior to the next RCE/T. Generalized linear mixed model was used for estimating the association between post-HbS or post-HCT levels and F/u-HbS <30%.

Results: Based on our results, targeting post-HbS ≤10% was associated with higher odds of having events of F/u-HbS <30% between monthly treatments. Targeting post-HbS ≤15% was associated with higher odds of events of F/u-HbS < 40%. As compared to post-HCT ≤30%, a post-HCT >30%-36% did not contribute to more F/u-HbS <30% or HbS <40% events.

Conclusions: For patients with SCD undergoing regular RCE/T for stroke prevention, a post-HbS ≤10% can be used as a goal to help maintain an HbS <30% for 1 month, and a post-HbS ≤15% allowed patients to maintain HbS <40%.



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follow up HbS, post-HCT, post-HbS, red cell exchange, sickle cell disease, transfusion