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October 6, 2004

Do Transfusions Get to the Heart of the Matter?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Ottawa Centre for Transfusion and Critical Care Research and Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario.

JAMA. 2004;292(13):1610-1612. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1610

Over the last half-century, it has become well recognized that patients with cardiovascular diseases and, more specifically, ischemic heart disease may be adversely affected by anemia. This is because the myocardium consumes or extracts 60% to 75% of all oxygen delivered to the coronary circulation.13 Such an elevated extraction of oxygen, termed extraction ratio, is unique to the coronary circulation. As a result, oxygen delivery to the myocardium can be augmented only by increasing blood flow or oxygen content.1

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