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Anemia Recovery after Trauma: A Longitudinal Study

Lauren S. Kelly, Jennifer A. Munley, Kolenkode B. Kannan, Erick E. Pons, Preston S. Coldwell, Letitia E. Bible, Hari K. Parvataneni, Jennifer E. Hagen, Philip A. Efron,
Published: 1 February 2023

Abstract:Background: Post-injury inflammation and its correlation with anemia recovery after severe trauma is poorly described. Severe injury induces a systemic inflammatory response associated with critical illness and organ dysfunction, including disordered hematopoiesis, and anemia. This study sought to characterize the resolution of post-injury inflammation and anemia to identify risk factors associated with persistence of anemia. Patients and Methods: This single-institution study prospectively enrolled 73 trauma patients with an injury severity score >15, hemorrhagic shock, and a lower extremity long bone orthopedic injury. Blood was obtained at enrollment and after 14 days, one, three, and six months. Analytes were compared using Mann-Whitney U tests with correction for multiple comparisons. Results: Median age was 45 years and Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 27, with anemia rates of 97% at two weeks, 80% at one month, 52% at three months, and 30% at six months. Post-injury elevations in erythropoietin, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein resolved by one month, three months, and six months, respectively. Median granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentrations remained elevated throughout the six-month follow-up period. Patients with persistent anemia had longer intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay, more infectious complications, and received more packed red blood cell transfusions compared to those with early anemia recovery. Conclusions: Severe trauma is associated with a prolonged inflammatory response, which is associated with increased transfusion requirements, lengths of stay, and persistent anemia. Further analysis is needed to identify correlations between prolonged inflammation and clinical outcomes after discharge.
Keywords: anemia / hepcidin / inflammation / norepinephrine / trauma

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