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Keywords:

  • blood transfusion;
  • head and neck cancer;
  • oral cavity cancer;
  • prognosis;
  • squamous cell carcinoma

Abstract

Background.

The influence of perioperative blood transfusion on survival in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck is still not convincingly determined. To investigate the effect of perioperative allogeneic transfusion on survival in stage II–IV squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, we studied a consecutive series of 105 patients undergoing primary tumor resection and neck dissection.

Methods.

Retrospective analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards models with 16 variables.

Results.

Perioperative red blood cell transfusion was required in 64 (61%) patients. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the number of positive nodes and ≥3 units of red blood cell transfusion were an independent prognostic indicators. The calculated odds ratio for death after ≥3 units transfused was 5.79 (95% confidence interval, 1.56–21.53, p < .01).

Conclusions.

More than 3 units of allogeneic red blood cells transfused might shorten the survival of patients with oral cavity cancer. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 25: 000–000, 2003