Table of Contents
ISRN Hematology
Volume 2014, Article ID 547914, 4 pages
Research Article

The Problem of Anaemia in Patients with Colorectal Cancer

Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, 4th Floor, 74 Huntley Street, London WC1E 6AU, UK

Received 23 October 2013; Accepted 22 December 2013; Published 12 February 2014

Academic Editors: Z. Duan and V. Georgoulias

Copyright © 2014 M. Khanbhai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Surgical patients are often anaemic preoperatively subsequently requiring blood transfusion. The aim of this study was to assess the problem of anaemia and transfusion rates in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer. Methods. Haemoglobin levels and transfusion requirements were assessed retrospectively in 199 sequential patients operated on for colorectal cancer. This was followed by prospective analysis of 147 patients to correlate preoperative anaemia, stage of bowel cancer, and operation performed with rates of blood transfusion and length of hospital stay. Results. Preoperatively 44% patients were anaemic retrospectively and 60% prospectively. Anaemia increased the risk of transfusion in both studies (69% anaemic versus 31% nonanaemic, in retrospective series, and 83.7% versus 16.3%, in prospective series). Anaemia was proportionally higher in patients with Dukes B (65.2%) and Dukes C (66.6%) than in patients with Dukes A (28.5%). Length of stay was prolonged in transfused patients excluding those requiring major blood transfusion (median 13 versus 7 days, ). Transfusion was also associated with higher mortality ( ). Conclusion. Anaemia is common in patients with colorectal cancer. Anaemic patients were at high risk of receiving blood transfusion, which in turn increased length of stay and mortality.