What are RBC-transfusion-dependence and -independence?

R. P. Gale, G. Barosi, T. Barbui, F. Cervantes, K. Dohner, B. Dupriez, V. Gupta, C. Harrison, R. Hoffman, J. J. Kiladjian, R. Mesa, M. F. Mc Mullin, F. Passamonti, V. Ribrag, G. Roboz, G. Saglio, A. Vannucchi, S. Verstovsek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The term RBC-transfusion-dependence is widely-used by hematologists to describe a condition of severe anemia typically arising when erythropoiesis is reduced such that a person continuously requires ≥1 RBC-transfusions over a specified interval. Defining a person as RBC-transfusion-dependent has important implications in diverse hematological disorders especially because it strongly-correlated with decreased survival. Conversely, becoming RBC-transfusion-independent or receiving fewer RBC-transfusions over a specified interval is defined as improvement or response in many disease- and/or therapy-setting. Whether this correlates with improved survival is controversial. We used a structured expert-panel consensus panel process to define RBC-transfusion-dependence and -independence or improvement. We suggest these definitions may prove useful to persons studying or treating these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-11
Number of pages4
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Anemia
  • Anemia therapy
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasm
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
  • RBC-transfusions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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  • Cite this

    Gale, R. P., Barosi, G., Barbui, T., Cervantes, F., Dohner, K., Dupriez, B., Gupta, V., Harrison, C., Hoffman, R., Kiladjian, J. J., Mesa, R., Mc Mullin, M. F., Passamonti, F., Ribrag, V., Roboz, G., Saglio, G., Vannucchi, A., & Verstovsek, S. (2011). What are RBC-transfusion-dependence and -independence? Leukemia Research, 35(1), 8-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2010.07.015