ObjectiveWhether peri-operative blood transfusions (BTF) negatively impact long-term survival after gastrectomy for gastric cancer (GC) remains controversial. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate independent predictive factors of BTF and the potential impact of BTF on overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in patients who underwent radical gastrectomy for stage II/III GC.
MethodsOf 1020 patients who underwent gastrectomy for stage II/III GC from November 2010 to December 2015, 231 (22.6%) patients received BTF. The independent predictive factors of BTF were identified using univariate and multivariate analyses. Cox regression and propensity score matching (PSM) analyses of OS and DFS in patients who received BTF or not were compared.
ResultsMultivariate analysis revealed that age, pre-operative hemoglobin levels, tumor size, operation time, combined multi-organ resection, and intra-operative blood loss were independent predictive factors for BTF. PSM analysis created 205 pairs of patients. BTF was significantly associated with decreased OS (P?=?0.025) and DFS (P?=?0.034) in the entire cohort before PSM. After PSM, there was no longer a significant association between BTF and OS (P?=?0.850) or DFS (P?=?0.880). BTF was not identified as an independent risk factor for OS or DFS by multivariate Cox regression analysis.
ConclusionsThe present study revealed that BTF did not influence OS and DFS after radical gastrectomy for stage II/III GC. Worse oncological outcomes were caused by clinical circumstances requiring blood transfusions, including longer operation time and advanced tumor stage, not due to BTF itself.