Massive Blood Transfusion in Patients with Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives The aim was to study blood transfusions and blood product ratios in massively transfused patients treated for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAAs). Methods This was a registry based cohort study of rAAA patients repaired at three major vascular centres between 2008 and 2013. Data were collected from the Swedish Vascular Registry, hospitals medical records, and local transfusion registries. The transfusion data were analysed for the first 24 h of treatment. Massive transfusion (MT) was defined as 4 or more units of red blood cell (RBC) transfused within 1 h, or 10 or more RBC units within 24 h. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio of 30 day mortality associated with the ratios of blood products and timing of first units of platelets (PLTs) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfused. Results Three hundred sixty nine rAAA patients were included: 80% men; 173 endovascular aneurysm repairs (EVARs) and 196 open repairs (ORs) with median RBC transfusion 8 units (Q1–Q3, 4–14) and 14 units (Q1–Q3, 8–28), respectively. A total of 261 (71%) patients required MT. EVAR patients with MT (n = 96) required less transfusion than OR patients (n = 165): median RBC 10 units (Q1–Q3, 6–16.5) vs. 15 units (Q1–Q3, 9–26) (p = .002), FFP 6 units (Q1–Q3, 2–14.5) vs. 13 units (Q1–Q3, 7–24) (p < .001), and PLT 0 units (Q1–Q3, 0–2) vs. 2 units (Q1–Q3, 0–4) (p = .01). Median blood product ratios in MT patients were FFP/RBC (EVAR group 0.59 [0.33–0.86], OR group 0.84 [0.67–1.2]; p < .001], and PLT/RBC (EVAR 0 [0–0.17], OR 0.12 (0–0.18); p < .001]. In patients repaired by OR a FFP/RBC ratio close to 1 was associated with reduced 30 day mortality (p = .003). The median PLT/RBC ratio was higher during the later part of the study period (p < .001, median test), whereas there was no significant difference in median FFP/RBC ratio (p = .101, median test). Conclusion The majority of rAAA patients undergoing EVAR required MT. EVAR patients treated with MT had lower FFP/RBC and PLT/RBC ratios than OR patients with MT. The mortality risk was lower with FFP/RBC ratio close to 1:1 in open repaired patients requiring MT. The 24 h PLT/RBC ratio increased over the study period.


  • C. Montan
  • U. Hammar
  • A. Wikman
  • E. Berlin
  • J. Malmstedt
  • J. Holst
  • C. M. Wahlgren
External organisations
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Lund University
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care


  • Blood product ratios, Blood transfusion, Endovascular aneurysm repair, Fresh frozen plasma, Open repair, Platelets, Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1
Publication categoryResearch