Prognostic impact of blood transfusion in patients undergoing primary surgery and free-flap reconstruction for oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Cancer

PubMedID: 19224554

Fenner M, Vairaktaris E, Nkenke E, Weisbach V, Neukam FW, Radespiel-Tröger M. Prognostic impact of blood transfusion in patients undergoing primary surgery and free-flap reconstruction for oral squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer. 2009;115(7):1481-8.
BACKGROUND
The objective of this study was to assess the impact of perioperative transfusion on the prognosis of patients who underwent complete (R0) resection of oral squamous cell carcinoma and reconstruction by microvascular flaps.

METHODS
By following an inclusion and exclusion protocol, 223 patients were included in the study who underwent R0 resection of oral squamous cell carcinoma and reconstruction by microvascular flaps at a single center. Clinical and pathologic factors as well as transfusion data were retrieved from a prospective database and analyzed retrospectively. Survival data were assessed using the method of Kaplan and Meier. For multivariate analysis the accelerated failure time model (Weibull distribution) was chosen.

RESULTS
The overall survival rate was 71% at 1 year, 67% at 3 years, and 55% at 5 years. In univariate analysis, age (P = .003), tumor size (P = .005), lymph node status (P = .008), tumor differentiation (P = .008), transfusion (P = .006), American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class (P = .001), and mandibular reconstruction (P = .045) were associated significantly with overall survival. Multivariate analysis identified only age, histopathologic differentiation, and ASA class as independent risk factors (P < .001, P = .04, and P = .049, respectively). Age was identified as the strongest independent predictor for overall survival (hazards ratio for each 13-year increase in age, 1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-2.85).

CONCLUSIONS
Transfusion of >4 U of blood did not appear to influence overall survival in patients who underwent primary surgery for oral squamous cell carcinoma. Because age and ASA class evolved as the strongest predictors of shortened overall survival, associated comorbidities may require more attention, particularly in elderly or socially deprived patients.