Minimizing blood transfusions in the surgical correction of coronal and metopic craniosynostosis

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The current study was performed to determine the rate of allogeneic blood transfusion for coronal and metopic craniosynostosis surgery done by two experienced pediatric neurosurgeons and to identify factors associated with a need for transfusion.


First operations for coronal and metopic craniosynostosis correction in children from 1996 to 2002 were reviewed retrospectively. For analysis, the primary endpoint was defined as either the receipt of a blood transfusion or a postoperative Hb level below 70 g/l, even if no blood was transfused. Univariate and multivariate analyses were done to examine the relationship of attaining the primary endpoint to extent of surgery, surgeons, surgery time, preoperative hemoglobin, craniosynostosis type, weight, and age.


Thirty-two patients were operated on: 17 with unicoronal; 9 with bicoronal, and 6 with metopic craniosynostosis. Median age at operation was 7.5 months. Blood transfusion rates were 0% for unicoronal, 44% for bicoronal, and 33% for metopic synostosis operations. Logistic regression revealed that the best predictor of having a postoperative hemoglobin level of <70 g/l or receiving a blood transfusion was the extent of surgery (β=1.59, SE β=0.57). The odds of reaching the primary endpoint for extensive surgery over basic surgery was 4.9 [95%CI=(1.6,15.0)]. Once extent of surgery was accounted for in the model, no other covariates significantly improved the model.


Low transfusion rates were achieved in primary operations for coronal and metopic craniosynostosis using simple intraoperative techniques and by accepting a low postoperative hemoglobin level.

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