Aim: To characterize the association between diabetes and transfusion and clinical outcomes in cardiac surgery, and to evaluate whether restrictive transfusion thresholds are harmful in these patients. Materials and Methods: The multinational, open-label, randomized controlled TRICS-III trial assessed a restrictive transfusion strategy (haemoglobin [Hb] transfusion threshold <75 g/L) compared with a liberal strategy (Hb <95 g/L for operating room or intensive care unit; or <85 g/L for ward) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery on cardiopulmonary bypass with a moderate-to-high risk of death (EuroSCORE ≥6). Diabetes status was collected preoperatively. The primary composite outcome was all-cause death, stroke, myocardial infarction, and new-onset renal failure requiring dialysis at 6 months. Secondary outcomes included components of the composite outcome at 6 months, and transfusion and clinical outcomes at 28 days. Results: Of the 5092 patients analysed, 1396 (27.4%) had diabetes (restrictive, n = 679; liberal, n = 717). Patients with diabetes had more cardiovascular disease than patients without diabetes. Neither the presence of diabetes (OR [95% CI] 1.10 [0.93-1.31]) nor the restrictive strategy increased the risk for the primary composite outcome (diabetes OR [95% CI] 1.04 [0.68-1.59] vs. no diabetes OR 1.02 [0.85-1.22]; Pinteraction =.92). In patients with versus without diabetes, a restrictive transfusion strategy was more effective at reducing red blood cell transfusion (diabetes OR [95% CI] 0.28 [0.21-0.36]; no diabetes OR [95% CI] 0.40 [0.35-0.47]; Pinteraction =.04). Conclusions: The presence of diabetes did not modify the effect of a restrictive transfusion strategy on the primary composite outcome, but improved its efficacy on red cell transfusion. Restrictive transfusion triggers are safe and effective in patients with diabetes undergoing cardiac surgery.
- cardiovascular disease
- clinical trial