OBJECTIVES: To investigate the efficacy and safety of intraoperative cell salvage with autotransfusion using leukocyte reduction filters in patients undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP). METHODS: Between September 1996 and March 1999, 62 patients (age range 48 to 70 years) with clinically localized prostate cancer underwent RRP with intraoperative cell salvage as the sole blood management technique. Salvaged blood was passed through a leukocyte reduction filter before autotransfusion. The 62 cell salvage patients were compared with a cohort who predonated 1 to 3 U autologous blood (n = 101). The estimated blood loss, preoperative and postoperative hematocrit, need for homologous transfusion, and biochemical recurrence rates were compared between the two groups. The progression-free survival rates were compared using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: No difference was found in preoperative prostate-specific antigen level, pathologic stage, or estimated blood loss between the cell salvage and autologous predonation groups. The preoperative and postoperative hematocrit levels were higher in the cell salvage group (42.7% versus 39.6% and 31.3% versus 27.9%, respectively; P <0.001 for each). The homologous transfusion rates were lower in the cell salvage group (3% versus 14%, P = 0.04). The incidence of progression-free survival (prostate-specific antigen level 0.4 ng/mL or greater) was no different between the groups (P = 0.41). CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative cell salvage with autotransfusion using leukocyte reduction filters in RRP results in higher perioperative hematocrit levels and low homologous transfusion rates and eliminates the need for autologous predonation. Cell salvage does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of early biochemical progression after RRP.
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