Impact of aspirin use on morbidity and mortality in massively transfused cardiac surgery patients: a propensity score matched cohort study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Anesthesia








Aspirin; Cardiac surgery; Lung injury; Transfusion


Purpose: Aspirin may prevent organ dysfunction in critically ill patients and mitigate transfusion associated acute lung injury. We hypothesized that aspirin use might be associated with decreased morbidity and mortality in massively transfused cardiac surgery patients. Methods: A single center retrospective cohort study was performed using data from an 8.5-year period (2006–2014). Massive transfusion was defined as receiving at least 2400 ml (8 units) of red blood cell units intraoperatively. A propensity score model was created to account for the likelihood of receiving aspirin and matched pairs were identified using global optimal matching. The primary endpoint, in-hospital mortality, was compared between aspirin users and non-users. Secondary outcomes including: ICU hours, mechanical lung ventilation hours, prolonged mechanical lung ventilation (>24 h), pneumonia, stroke, acute renal failure, atrial fibrillation, deep sternal wound infection, and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome were also compared. Results: Of 7492 cardiac surgery patients, 452 (6 %) were massively transfused and mortality was 30.6 %. There were 346 patients included in the matched cohort. No significant association was found between preoperative aspirin use and in-hospital mortality; absolute risk reduction with aspirin = 7.5 % (95 % CI −2.0 to 16.9 %, p = 0.12). Preoperative aspirin use was associated with fewer total mechanical lung ventilation hours (p = 0.02) and less prolonged mechanical lung ventilation; absolute risk reduction = 11.0 % (95 % CI 1.1–20.5 %, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Preoperative aspirin use is not associated with decreased in-hospital mortality in massively transfused cardiac surgery patients, but may be associated with less mechanical lung ventilation time.