Chronic Transfusion Therapy/Hypertransfusion Therapy

Also known as: transfusion therapy.

What is chronic transfusion therapy?

Chronic transfusion therapy is a form of blood transfusion that is repeated on a “chronic,” or regular, basis. It’s used as a procedure to treat serious symptoms or prevent complications related to sickle cell disease. Chronic transfusion therapy has been used to decrease the frequency of pain in patients with recurrent debilitating painful crises.

What happens during the procedure?

For patients with a risk of stroke, chronic transfusion therapy is a transfusion that dilutes the amount of sickle hemoglobin in the blood. This reduces the risk of stroke and can also help with other symptoms related to sickle cell disease, such as pain. As with most blood transfusions, the blood is injected into the body via IV.

Is any special preparation needed?

Blood testing is required to determine the patient’s blood type. This way, compatible blood can be used for the transfusion.

What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, bruising, blood clots, heart and lung problems and shock are all potential risk factors related to chronic transfusion therapy.

Reviewed by: Athena C Pefkarou, MD

This page was last updated on: November 06, 2020 02:58 PM

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