Hany Abdel Gawwad Soliman, Marie Beausejour, Julie Joncas, Marjolaine Roy-Beaudry, Soraya Barchi, Jean-Marc Mac-Thiong, Hubert Labelle, Guy Grimard, Stefan Parent

March 2019, pp 1 - 7 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-019-05939-w

First Online: 08 March 2019


The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors associated with timing of lowest hemoglobin (Hb) level and the need for postoperative blood transfusion in posterior spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.


We conducted a retrospective review of all adolescent scoliosis patients undergoing posterior spinal fusion at our institution, 2002–2014. Surgery consisted of segmental pedicle screw fixation using multi-level pedicle screws. Blood-saving techniques were used in all patients. Data included Cobb angle, pre- and postoperative Hb levels, preoperative autologous blood donation (PABD), surgery duration, and allogeneic or autologous transfusion. We used linear and logistic regressions for statistical analysis.


There were 456 patients (402 female, 54 male), mean age 16 ± 5 years. Lowest Hb was observed on postoperative Days 2 (32.2%) and 3 (33.3%); 45.1% of postoperative transfusions occurred on Day 2. One hundred and eighty-eight (41%) patients who provided PABD had significantly lower preoperative Hb and received more transfusions intraoperatively (22.6% vs. 5.2%) and postoperatively (20% vs. 6.3%) than others. Probability of transfusion increased 49.6 (95% CI 17.40–141.37) times with preoperative Hb  14 g/dL. Probability of transfusion increased 4.3- and 9.8-fold when surgery duration exceeded 5 and 6 h, respectively. Probability of transfusion increased 3.3- and 5.3-fold with Cobb angle > 70° and 80°, respectively.


We identified clear patient-specific perioperative parameters that affect risk of perioperative blood transfusion, including Cobb angle, PABD and preoperative Hb. Hb measurement beyond postoperative Day 3 is considered unnecessary unless clinically indicated.

Graphical abstract

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