Red blood cell transfusion in animal models of acute brain injuries: a systematic review protocol Laflamme, Mathieu; Haghbayan, Hourmazd; Lalu, Manoj M.; Zarychanski, Ryan; Lauzier, François; Boutin, Amélie; Macleod, Malcolm R.; Fergusson, Dean A.; Moore, Lynne; Costerousse, Olivier; Lacroix, Jacques; Wellington, Cheryl L.; Hutchison, Jamie; Turgeon, Alexis F.
Background Anemia is common in neurocritically ill patients. Considering the limited clinical evidence in this population, preclinical data may provide some understanding of the potential impact of anemia and of red blood cell transfusion in these patients. We aim to estimate the association between different transfusion strategies and neurobehavioral outcome in animal models. Methods We will conduct a systematic review of comparative studies of red blood cell transfusion strategies using animal models of traumatic brain injury, ischemic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases for eligible studies from inception onwards. Two independent reviewers will perform study selection and data extraction. We will report our results in a descriptive synthesis focusing on characteristics of included studies, reported outcomes, risk of bias, and construct validity. Our primary outcome is the neurological function (neurobehavioral performance) and our secondary outcomes include mortality, infarct size, intracranial pressure, cerebral perfusion pressure, cerebral blood flow, and brain tissue oxygen tension. If appropriate, we will also perform a quantitative synthesis and pool results using random-effect models. Heterogeneity will be expressed with I2 statistics. Subgroup analyses are planned according to animal model characteristics, co-interventions, and risks of bias. Discussion Our study is aligned with the efforts to better understand the level of evidence on the impact of red blood cell transfusion strategies from preclinical studies in animal models of acute brain injury and the potential translation of information from the preclinical to the clinical research field.
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