Extreme, Progressive Isovolemic Hemodilution with 5% Human Albumin, PentaLyte, or Hextend Does Not Cause Hepatic Ischemia or Histologic Injury in Rabbits

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Physicians and their patients are greatly concerned about perioperative blood administration. Although isovolemic hemodilution is utilized to decrease the incidence of transfusion, it is unclear at what degree of hemodilution hepatoenteric ischemia and injury occurs. The authors hypothesized that hepatic ischemia, systemic ischemia, and tissue injury would occur during hemodilution in rabbits, and that the severity of ischemia and injury may be dependent on the fluid administered.


Rabbits anesthetized with isoflurane were assigned randomly to a sham-operated group (n = 8) or groups that underwent four isovolemic hemodilutions (25% of the blood volume removed at hourly intervals), with blood replaced with one of three solutions: balanced electrolyte solutions containing 6% pentastarch (n = 8), 6% hetastarch (n = 9), or 5% human albumin in normal saline (n = 8). Arterial ketone body ratio and plasma lactate, respectively, served as measures of hepatic and systemic ischemia. Gastric, duodenal, and hepatic histologic injury was assessed post mortem.


Hemodilution from a baseline hematocrit of about 33% to about 8% (third hemodilution) with all three colloids did not result in a significant increase in plasma lactate concentration or decrease in arterial ketone body ratio. At a hematocrit of about 5% (fourth hemodilution), the hetastarch group had a significantly (P < 0.05) greater plasma lactate concentration than the sham-operated and 5% human albumin groups. There were no significant differences in arterial ketone body ratio or histologic injury between the groups.


Isovolemic hemodilution (approximately 5% hematocrit) with albumin, pentastarch, or hetastarch solutions does not result in significant hepatic ischemia or injury assessed by histology.

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