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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094

Abstract

CARVALHO, Joana Patrícia dos Santos; CATRE, Dora Lopes Castelo Branco; PEREIRA, Cláudia Margarida Brito  and  COSTA, Marina. Anesthesia in patients with positive direct coombs test: report of three cases. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2010, vol.60, n.1, pp. 75-83. ISSN 0034-7094.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-70942010000100009.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Neoplasias can be associated with autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AHA) with the consequent blood incompatibility that hinders blood transfusion. The authors describe and discuss the conduct in three patients undergoing surgical intervention for neoplastic disease with positive Coombs Test (CT), and the impossibility to determine the blood type. CASE REPORT: 1st case: 87-year old male patient, ASA III, scheduled for surgery for colon neoplasia. The patient had positive CT, being treated with corticosteroids, immunoglobulin (Ig), and erythropoietin, after which it was possible to determine his blood type. One unit of packed-red blood cells (PRBC) was transfused intraoperatively without intercurrences. Twenty four hours after the transfusion, the patient died due to an ischemic stroke. 2nd case: 77-year old male patient, ASA III, scheduled for surgery for a gastric carcinoma. The patient had a positive CT, being treated with corticosteroids and Ig, but we were unable to determine his blood type. The surgery was performed without intercurrences. The patient died on the 18th postoperative day after a cardiorespiratory arrest. 3rd case: 80-year old female patient, ASA IV, undergoing emergency exploratory laparotomy. She also had a positive CT. The surgery (hemicolectomy) was performed without intercurrences. The patient died 48 hours after the surgery from an ischemic stroke. CONCLUSIONS: Circulating autoantibodies in AHA can make it impossible to determine the blood type to transfuse compatible blood. Proper treatment of AHA is aimed at remission of autoantibodies and anemia. When it is not possible to determine the blood type, the procedure should be a life-saving blood transfusion.

Keywords : BLOOD [transfusion]; DISEASES, Anemia [autoimmune hemolytic]; LABORATORIAL TESTS [positive direct Coombs test].

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