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Bleeding in primary shoulder arthroplasty



The aim of this investigation was to analyse “total blood loss” (TBL), “blood transfusion rate” (BT) and the “amount of transfused blood units” (BU) between the different primary shoulder arthroplasty (SA) types: reverse, anatomical and stemless. Only primary SA was included. Further goal was to identify risk factors for TBL, amount of BU and BT rate.


A retrospective charts analysis of patients who received primary SA for degenerative shoulder pathology in our institution between 2004 and 2016 was performed. The demographic data, co-morbidities, haemoglobin and hematocrit level, BT rate, amount of transfused BU etc. were collected. TBL was estimated. Linear regression, log-linear poisson regression and logistic regression were used to compare the outcomes TBL, amount of transfused BU and BT rate, respectively, between different prosthesis types.


Of 278 patients included in this study 209 received reverse, 57 anatomical and 12 stemless SA. Mean TBL was 392.7 ml in reverse, 394.6 ml in anatomical and 298.3 ml in stemless SA. The BT rate and mean amount of BU were, respectively, 14.4% and 0.32 in reverse and 8.77% and 0.23 in anatomical SA. None of the patients with stemless arthroplasty received BT. Significant risk factors for elevated TBL are operation time, higher BMI, male sex. Significant risk parameters for BT and higher amount of transfused BU are low BMI, cemented arthroplasty, coronary heart disease, ASA score > 2 and previous therapy with vitamin K antagonists.


Although there were little differences between the blood transfusion rates in reverse vs. anatomical arthroplasty, there was no difference in total blood loss between these different prosthesis types. None of the patients with stemless arthroplasty received blood transfusion. There are various risk factors affecting total blood loss and blood transfusion rate. However, risk parameters influencing blood transfusion may be different to them affecting total blood loss.

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Correspondence to Dominik Malcherczyk.

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Conflict of interest

Author DM, BG, CP and AA declare that they have no conflict of interest. TH has been paid for presentations for Smith & Nephew, Zimmer Biomet and Implantcast. He has received research support from Smith & Nephew and Zimmer Biomet. He is a consultant to Smith & Nephew. BFE: Consultant to Smith & Nephew; Payment for lectures by Smith & Nephew.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards”. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

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Malcherczyk, D., Abdelmoula, A., Heyse, T.J. et al. Bleeding in primary shoulder arthroplasty. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 138, 317–323 (2018).

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  • Bleeding
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Total blood loss
  • Blood transfusion
  • Reverse
  • Anatomical