We started using autologous blood transfusion (AuBT) for esophageal carcinoma resection in May 1994. Indications for blood collection were defined according to the guidelines of the Japanese Society of Blood Transfusion. The AuBT group included 38 patients who underwent esophagectomy and three-field lymph node dissection. A total of 800 ml of autologous blood was collected from each patient between January and December 1995. The historical control group consisted of 50 patients who received the same operations from January 1992 to April 1994 and who fulfilled the criteria for autologous blood collection. On the 1st, 3rd, and 7th postoperative days, hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations in the control group were respectively 11.8 ± 1.1, 9.8 ± 1.3, and 9.7 ± 1.0 g/dl while Hb concentrations in the AuBT group were 12.6 ± 1.2, 10.2 ± 1.4, and 10.4 ± 1.1 g/dl. Thus, after the operations, Hb levels were significantly higher in the AuBT group than in the control group. The percentage of patietns who did not receive an allogenic blood transfusion was significantly greater in the AuBT group (95%) than in the control group (68% p = 0.002). In conclusion, autologous blood collection of 800 ml for esophagectomy is useful for maintaining stable Hb levels after the operation and consequently aids in avoiding allogenic blood transfusion.
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