A review of red cell transfusion in the neurological intensive care unit

Shanthan Pendem, Sameer Rana, Edward M. Marmo, Ognjen Gajic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The treatment of anemia in critically ill patients has changed significantly in the past decade with a major shift toward restrictive blood-transfusion strategy. There is a paucity of studies regarding the approach toward anemia in the neurological critical care population. Anemia is a complex problem in this group of patients because of the extreme sensitivity of brain tissue to changes in the cerebral perfusion pressure and oxygen deficit. Most of the evidence regarding management of anemia and optimal hematocrit threshold is based on animal experiments and observational studies. Recent studies have shown a mixed response in the local oxygen saturations and patient outcomes after blood transfusion in neurological critically ill patients. Although there is little reason to suspect that restrictive transfusion protocols would be detrimental, further studies are needed to determine optimal transfusion threshold in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Blood transfusion
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemodilution
  • Neurointensive care unit
  • Transfusion threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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