The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML, PDF)

OBJECTIVE: Endoscopic transnasal approaches to the skull base and intracranial disease are an emerging subspecialty. The limits of this approach are often dictated by exposure and blood loss. Cell salvage techniques are widely used in other surgical fields. However, in otolaryngology, questions remain regarding its safety because work is performed in a contaminated field. In this literature review, we present the evidence for perioperative cell saver blood transfusion in potentially contaminated fields and the need for further investigation of its use in endonasal surgery.

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE and Evidence Based Medicine Reviews databases were searched for relevant articles.

REVIEW METHODS: All English articles discussing autologous blood transfusion in endonasal surgery were reviewed.

RESULTS: Despite a wide search pattern, no articles that discuss this topic were found in the English literature. Therefore, we went on to present data on the general use of cell saver blood in contaminated fields.

CONCLUSION: Cell saver blood is widely accepted in surgery. It offers many advantages in elective operations in which blood loss is expected to be significant. Cell saver blood has been transfused from contaminated fields in other forms of surgery without an associated increase in morbidity. There is good evidence that antibiotic prophylaxis is mandatory in this setting. There is no direct evidence that cell salvage blood is safe in endonasal surgery. Cell salvage is part of a multimodality approach, including the use of hypotensive anesthesia, topical procoagulants, a dedicated team with appropriate equipment, and a good surgical technique with a focus on hemostasis.

(C) 2010 by Mosby, Inc