Objective: We hypothesized that red blood cell (RBC) transfusions influence intestinal inflammation in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. We also suspected that hematocrit (Hct) at transfusions and RBC storage time correlate with intestinal inflammation. Study Design: VLBW infants, without major congenital defects, intestinal perforation or necrotizing enterocolitis, were enrolled prospectively. Fecal calprotectin (FC) levels were measured from stool samples collected before and after RBC transfusions. Data on Hct and RBC storage time were collected. Result: Data from 42 RBC transfusions given to 26 infants revealed that FC levels increased faster than baseline after RBC transfusions (P=0.018) and were higher in multiple-transfused infants (0 to 48 and >48 h post transfusion, P=0.007 and P=0.005, respectively). Lower Hct and RBC storage >21 days correlated with higher FC levels (P=0.044 and P=0.013, respectively). Conclusion: RBC transfusions, anemia and prolonged RBC storage were associated with an increase in intestinal inflammation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology