Risk for Intracerebral Hemorrhage May Be Transmissible Via Blood Transfusion

Risk was increased for those receiving transfusion from donors who later developed multiple spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhages

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MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The risk for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is increased for patients who receive red blood cell transfusions from donors who later develop multiple spontaneous ICHs, according to a study published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jingcheng Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study using nationwide blood bank and health register data from Sweden (main cohort) and Denmark (validation cohort) including 1,089,370 patients aged 5 to 80 years who had received a red blood cell transfusion (759,858 from Sweden; 329,512 from Denmark), with a median follow-up of 5.8 and 6.1 years, respectively.

The researchers found that compared with patients receiving transfusions from donors who did not develop spontaneous ICH, those who underwent transfusion with red blood cell units from donors who developed multiple spontaneous ICHs had a significantly higher risk for a single spontaneous ICH themselves in both the Swedish and Danish cohorts (adjusted hazard ratios, 2.73 and 2.32, respectively). No significant difference was seen for patients receiving transfusions from donors who developed a single spontaneous ICH in the Swedish or Danish cohort, nor for ischemic stroke as a negative control outcome.

"The current study is not yet a reason for alarm, certainly not a reason to avoid otherwise indicated blood transfusion, but it is a strong call for more scientific digging," Steven M. Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, writes in an accompanying editorial.

One author disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Elana Gotkine

Elana Gotkine

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Published on September 18, 2023

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