RBC transfusion thresholds

Reference: TF041
Title: RED blood cell transfusion thresholds and QOL in myeloDysplastic Syndromes: a pilot, feasibility study.
Chief investigator: Dr Simon Stanworth


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are bone marrow disorders which impair the production of the correct quality and quantity of blood cells.

Although a large group of haematology patients has MDS, there is no high quality data on safe and effective haemoglobin thresholds in transfusion dependent MDS patients.

At present, red blood cell transfusions are usually given when the patient's haemoglobin falls to 80-85g/L. Some recent research suggests that giving red blood cells to keep the patient's haemoglobin at a higher level (100g/L) may result in improved functioning and fewer symptoms.

In this trial, patients will be allocated to a restrictive haemoglobin transfusion threshold (85-100g/L) or a liberal threshold (110-125g/L).

A survey of quality of life will then be used to identify differences in patient outcomes between the two groups. The pilot results will inform the design and practicalities of any larger study.