A Danish clinical trial showed that transfusion with leucocyte-depleted red blood cells reduces postoperative infectious complications compared with cells without buffy-coat. However, the effect on long-term outcome is unknown. We followed up the 142 cancer patients transfused with buffy-coat-poor red cells, the 118 transfused with leucocyte-depleted blood, and the 329 who were not transfused, until 2003. After 7 years' follow-up, survival for those with leucocyte-depleted blood transfusion (46 [41%]) was not significantly different from transfusion of blood without buffy-coat (59 [45%], p=0.51). Although survival is reduced by blood transfusion, it does not differ between the two transfusion regimens.
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