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BackgroundAnaemia is frequently recorded during preoperative screening and has been suggested to affect outcomes after surgery negatively.ObjectivesThe objectives were to assess the frequency of moderate to severe anaemia and its association with length of hospital stay.DesignPost hoc analysis of the international observational prospective 'Local ASsessment of VEntilatory management during General Anaesthesia for Surgery' (LAS VEGAS) study.Patients and settingThe current analysis included adult patients requiring general anaesthesia for non-cardiac surgery. Preoperative anaemia was defined as a haemoglobin concentration of 11 g dl-1 or lower, thus including moderate and severe anaemia according to World Health Organisation criteria.Main outcome measuresThe primary outcome was length of hospital stay. Secondary outcomes included hospital mortality, intra-operative adverse events and postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs).ResultsHaemoglobin concentrations were available for 8264 of 9864 patients. Preoperative moderate to severe anaemia was present in 7.7% of patients. Multivariable analysis showed that preoperative moderate to severe anaemia was associated with an increased length of hospital stay with a mean difference of 1.3 ((95% CI 0.8 to 1.8) days; P ConclusionsIn this international cohort of non-cardiac surgical patients, preoperative moderate to severe anaemia was associated with a longer duration of hospital stay but not increased intra-operative complications, PPCs or in-hospital mortality.Trial registrationThe LAS VEGAS study was registered at, NCT01601223.

Original publication




Journal article


European journal of anaesthesiology

Publication Date





571 - 581


From the Department of Anaesthesiology, Amsterdam UMC, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (CSE-B, CB), Department of Intensive Care and Laboratory of Experimental Intensive Care and Anaesthesia (L·E·I·C·A), Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (SNT-H, AS-N, JM-B, MJS), Department of Anaesthesiology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (SNT-H, MW-H), Department of Critical Care Medicine, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paolo, Brazil (AS-N), Hedenstierna Laboratory, Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (GH), Montpellier University Hospital, Saint Eloi Intensive Care Unit and PhyMedExp, University of Montpellier, INSERM, CNRS, Montpellier, France (SJ), Division of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (MH, WS), Operating Services, Critical Care and Anaesthesia, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield and University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK (GH-M), Department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Bostan, MA, USA (MF-VM), Queen Mary University of London, London, UK (RM-P), Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany (CP), Department of Biotechnology and Sciences of Life, ASST Sette Laghi Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy (PS), Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany (HW), Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Pulmonary Engineering Group, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany (MGD-A), Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche e Diagnostiche Integrate, Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova, Italy (PP), IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genova, Italy (PP), Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand (MJS), Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (MJS).


LAS VEGAS, study–investigators, PROVE Network, and the Clinical Trial Network of the European Society of Anaesthesiology, Humans, Anemia, Postoperative Complications, Length of Stay, Prospective Studies, Adult, Propensity Score