This pilot study reports the association between the admission value of the reticulocyte hemoglobin content and red blood cell transfusion requirements in 62 critically ill patients. A low value of reticulocyte hemoglobin content (< 29 pg) was associated with a higher transfusion rate and, after adjustment for a few clinical variables on ICU admission, this measurement remained significantly associated with transfusion, with a hazard ratio of 3.6. Nevertheless, whether low reticulocyte hemoglobin content is a marker of severity or a modifiable factor (for example by iron therapy) remains to be elucidated. – Michael Piagnerelli

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