AUTHORS: Cho, Brian C., MD et al
METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 1552 patients undergoing isolated CABG at our institution from January 2013 to May 2016. We evaluated 2 Hb cohorts: “high” (above) and “low” (below) the mean discharge Hb level of 9.4 g/dL, comparing patient characteristics, blood utilization, and clinical outcomes including 30-day readmission rates. We further evaluated the effects of the lowest (<8 g/dL) discharge Hb levels on 30-day readmission rates by dividing the patients into 4 anemia cohorts based on discharge Hb levels: “no anemia” (>12 g/dL), “mild anemia” (10–11.9 g/dL), “moderate anemia” (8–9.9 g/dL), and “severe anemia” (<8 g/dL). Risk adjustment accounted for age, sex, Charlson comorbidity index, preoperative comorbidities, revision sternotomy, and patient blood management program implementation.
RESULTS: The “high” and “low” groups had similar patient characteristics except for Hb levels (mean discharge Hb was 10.4 ± 0.9 vs 8.5 ± 0.6 g/dL, respectively). Notably, no evidence for a difference in 30-day readmission rates was noted between the “high” (76/746; 10.2%) and “low” (97/806; 12.0%) (P = .25) Hb cohorts. The 4 anemia cohorts had differences in age, revision sternotomy incidence, Hb levels, certain patient comorbidities, and time to readmission. On multivariable analysis, the risk-adjusted odds of readmission in the “low” Hb cohort (odds ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.84–1.61; P = .36) was not significant compared to the “high” Hb cohort. Compared to patients with discharge Hb ≥8 g/dL, patients with Hb <8 g/dL had a higher incidence of readmission (22/129; 17.1% vs 151/1423; 10.6%; P = .036). On multivariable analysis, Hb <8 g/dL on discharge was predictive of readmission (odds ratio, 1.77; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–2.88; P = .03). The most common reason for readmission was volume overload, followed by infection and arrhythmias.
CONCLUSIONS: A discharge Hb level below the institution mean for CABG patients does not provide evidence for an association with an increased 30-day readmission rate. In the small number of patients discharged with Hb <8 g/dL, there is a suggestion of increased risk for readmission and larger more controlled studies are needed to verify or refute this finding.