Navigation Links
Transfusions increase clot risk in hospitalized cancer patients
Date:11/24/2008

Blood transfusions used to treat anemia in patients with cancer are associated with an increased risk of life-threatening blood clots, at a similar rate as other treatments for cancer-induced anemia, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

These findings, published in Tuesday's Archives of Internal Medicine, pose a quandary for doctors who want to prevent thromboembolism one of the leading causes of illness and death in people with cancer.

"We've known that medications used for the treatment of anemia in cancer cause blood clots and using transfusions was an alternative that some doctors chose to try to avoid this problem. This study shows that transfusions may be no better for patients," says Alok Khorana, M.D., lead author on the study. "We need to be cautious in the use of transfusions and search for ways to reduce our patients' risk of developing blood clots, which are dangerous."

When patients receive chemotherapy, doctors watch closely for signs of anemia, a common side-effect that causes fatigue, dizziness and headaches. To combat the anemia, oncologists prescribe medications known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which boost red-blood-cell production.

Recent research has shown that these medications raised patients' risk of developing blood clots and the Food and Drug Administration issued restrictions for use last year. An alternative recommendation is to use red blood cell transfusions.

In this retrospective study, researchers examined the risk of developing blood clots for hospitalized patients who received blood transfusions. Scientists analyzed discharge summaries in the University Health System Consortium which includes information on more than 500,000 people hospitalized at 60 medical centers from 1995-2003.

Khorana and his team studied data on more than 70,500 patients who received a blood transfusion. Among those patients, 7.2 percent developed venous thromboembolism (VTE) and 5.2 percent developed arterial thromboembolism (ATE.) That's significantly higher than the 3.8 percent and 3.1 percent rates, respectively, for other patients in the study who did not receive transfusions. However, the figures are comparable to the data on ESAs.

People with cancer are at risk for developing blood clots in their arms or legs, and occasionally, portions of the blood clot can break off and migrate through the circulatory system to the lungs, a condition called pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening. Arterial thrombosis also occurs more frequently in cancer patients than in non-cancer patients. This can manifest as a heart attack or a stroke, and can also be fatal.

The investigators, who were funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, focused solely on people who were hospitalized during cancer care. However, a majority of cancer patients receive outpatient care. Scientists expect to study thrombosis risk for that primary group of patients as well, Khorana said.

"We need to understand why people who get transfusions are more likely to get blood clots," said Charles Francis, M.D., professor of Medicine and director of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis program.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie White
Leslie_White@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1119
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Controversial Anemia Drug Doesnt Cut Need for Transfusions
2. Study links blood transfusions to surgery complications in women
3. Children with sickle cell disease, silent strokes show some relief with blood transfusions
4. Transfusions of Older Blood Dont Work as Well
5. Fresh Transfusions Improve Odds for Cancer Patients After Surgery
6. Smoking may strongly increase long-term risk of eye disease
7. Diabetes appears to increase risk of death for patients with acute coronary syndromes
8. Prophylactic cranial irradiation in small cell lung cancer significantly increases survival
9. Fat on chest and upper back increases risk of insulin resistance
10. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
11. Handling Stress Properly Increases Good Cholesterol
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Last month, representatives ... hospital employees, and town officials to celebrate the grand opening of the 87,000 ... Rendina as part of its ongoing relationship with RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Drs. ... NY, who have now spent 10 years as clinical instructors for the reputable ... College of Dentistry. Through the program, private practitioners receive cutting-edge clinical training and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Dr. ... of the HP3 (High-Performance Periodontal Practice) continuing education (CE) series. As a compassionate ... in his field by attending numerous CE courses each year. His recent course, ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Adelberg-Montalvan Pediatric Dentistry ... for its patients on Long Island, New York. , Holistic dentistry puts ... is one of the biggest trends in dentistry today. , Dentist Dr. ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Dymedix® Diagnostics, Inc., the ... it had completed the first phase of building a global distribution network. To ... world (ROW) authorized dealers specializing in polysomnography accessories. The company plans to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2017)... WAYNE, N.J. , May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... systems that contribute to quality enhancement and cost ... results from a study of contemporary practice demonstrating ... a first-line therapy for critically ill patients. The ... the Company,s newer large volume MEGA ® ...
(Date:5/2/2017)... YORK and LONDON , ... of market intelligence, MarketResearch.com is pleased to announce a ... AB that allows for the marketing and distribution ... analyses through the MarketResearch.com website. The new ... to complete product descriptions and tables of contents from ...
(Date:5/2/2017)... , May 2, 2017  CIVCO Radiotherapy, the ... solutions, announced today that Nat Geissel ... CIVCO since 2012 and has served as vice ... vice president and general manager, and most recently, ... "I am extremely proud of what CIVCO Radiotherapy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: