Cell Saver for Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery Reduces Cost.


Study design

Retrospective cohort.


To determine if the use of cell saver reduces overall blood costs in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

Summary of background data

Recent studies have questioned the clinical value of cell saver during spine procedures.


ASD patients enrolled in a prospective, multicenter surgical database who had complete preoperative and surgical data were identified. Patients were stratified into (1) cell saver available during surgery, but no intraoperative autologous infusion (No Infusion group), or (2) cell saver available and received autologous infusion (Infusion group).


There were 427 patients in the Infusion group and 153 in the No infusion group. Patients in both groups had similar demographics. Mean autologous infusion volume was 698 mL. The Infusion group had a higher percentage of EBL relative to the estimated blood volume (42.2%) than the No Infusion group (19.6%, p < .000). Allogeneic transfusion was more common in the Infusion group (255/427, 60%) than the No Infusion group (67/153, 44%, p = .001). The number of allogeneic blood units transfused was also higher in the Infusion group (2.4) than the No Infusion group (1.7, p = .009). Total blood costs ranged from $396 to $2,146 in the No Infusion group and from $1,262 to $5,088 in the Infusion group. If the cost of cell saver blood was transformed into costs of allogeneic blood, total blood costs for the Infusion group would range from $840 to $5,418. Thus, cell saver use yielded a mean cost savings ranging from $330 to $422 (allogeneic blood averted). Linear regression showed that after an EBL of 614 mL, cell saver becomes cost-efficient.


Compared to transfusing allogeneic blood, cell saver autologous infusion did not reduce the proportion or the volume of allogeneic transfusion for patients undergoing surgery for adult spinal deformity. The use of cell saver becomes cost-efficient above an EBL of 614 mL, producing a cost savings of $330 to $422.

Level of evidence

Level III.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Gum, Jeffrey L, Leah Yacat Carreon, Michael P Kelly, Richard Hostin, Chessie Robinson, Douglas C Burton, David W Polly, Christopher I Shaffrey, et al. (2017). Cell Saver for Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery Reduces Cost. Spine deformity, 5(4). pp. 272–276. 10.1016/j.jspd.2017.01.005 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28382.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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