The effect of preoperative recombinant erythropoietin on postoperative hematocrit level after orthognathic surgery.

Politano N, Jaskolka M, Blakey G, Turvey T, White R, Phillips C
J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2012;70:e625-630.
NATA Rating :
Review by : E. Bisbe
NATA Review

This is a retrospective observational study of 178 patients comparing postoperative red cell mass in patients undergoing maxillofacial surgery treated with a single dose of preoperative EPO. The study confirmed the efficacy of EPO in preventing the hematocrit decrease after surgery, as expected, but made no mention as to whether this effect provided any advantage for the patients (no data are presented on transfusion rates, quality of life, outcome improvement, etc.). Also, no data on safety are presented.
The use of EPO seems to be “off label” since it appears that EPO was used in patients without preoperative anemia. In addition, the adverse effects were not evaluated (or were not reported) in this, at the very least, arguable practice.

– Elvira Bisbe