Intraoperative cell salvage systems, or cell savers, are widely used for the management of blood loss in patients undergoing spine surgery. However, recent studies report conflicting evidence of their efficacy. The purpose of the meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy of cell savers in reducing blood transfusion requirements in patients undergoing spine surgery.
Both retrospective and prospective studies that investigated the efficacy of cell savers in reducing transfusion requirements in spine surgery patients when compared with control patients were identified from MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Collaboration Library, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases. Outcome data extracted included number of patients receiving allogenic transfusions (transfusion rate); units of allogenic transfusions; postoperative hemoglobin; costs; operative time; and complications. RevMan 5 software was used to perform statistical analyses. A random-effects model was used to calculate pooled odds ratios (with 95% CIs) and weighted mean differences (WMDs [95% CI]) for dichotomous and continuous variables, respectively.
Eighteen studies with 2815 patients in total were included in the meta-analysis. During spine surgery, the use of intraoperative cell salvage did not reduce the intraoperative (OR 0.66 [95% CI 0.30, 1.41]), postoperative (OR −0.57 [95% CI 0.20, 1.59]), or total transfusion (OR 0.92 [95% CI 0.43, 1.98]) rate. There was a reduction in the number of allogenic units transfused intraoperatively by a mean of 0.81 (95% CI −1.15, −0.48). However, there were no differences in the number of units transfused postoperatively (WMD −0.02 [95% CI −0.41, 0.38]) or the total units transfused (WMD 0.08 [95% CI −1.06, 1.22]). There were also no differences in operative time (WMD 19.36 [95% CI −2.43, 42.15]) or complications reported (OR 0.79 [95% CI 0.46, 1.37]) between groups. A difference in postoperative hemoglobin (WMD 0.54 [95% CI 0.11, 0.98]) between both groups was observed.
Cell saver is efficacious at reducing intraoperative allogenic units transfused. There is no difference in transfusion rates, postoperative units transfused, and the total number of units transfused. Further cost analysis studies are necessary to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of this method of blood conservation.
■ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: meta-analysis; strength of recommendation: low.