• The value of autotransfusion is widely recognized in the surgical community and may be of increasing importance in prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and hepatitis. The concern of potential contamination of the blood with viable tumor cells has resulted in limited use of autotransfusion in cancer surgery. The objective of this study was to examine the benefits and safety of autotransfusion in patients undergoing major surgery of genitourinary tumors. Autotransfusion was used in 49 consecutive patients. Twenty-four patients had radical cystectomy, ten had radical prostatectomy, 13 had radical nephrectomy, and two had other types of operations. An autotransfusion machine (Haemonetics Cell Saver) was used. The follow-up included physical examination, chest roentgenogram every three months, and bone scan and computed tomographic scan if clinically indicated. Liver and renal profiles were routinely performed every three months. Five of 49 patients developed metastases during follow-up examination from 12 to 23 months. The low incidence of metastatic spread and the pattern of spread fail to implicate autotransfusion as a cause of tumor dissemination. Autotransfusion and predeposited blood banking may result in elimination of or significant reduction in homologous transfusions.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1326-1329)