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Changes in blood volume during acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) and their consequences for the perioperative period have not been investigated sufficiently.In 15 patients undergoing radical hysterectomy, preoperative ANH to a hematocrit of 24% was performed using 5% albumin solution. Intraoperatively, saline 0.9% solution was used for volume substitution, and intraoperative retransfusion was started at a hematocrit of 20%. Plasma volume (indocyanine green dilution technique), hematocrit, and plasma protein concentration were measured before and after ANH, before retransfusion, and postoperatively. Red cell volume (labeling erythrocytes with fluorescein) was determined before and after ANH and postoperatively.Mean normal plasma volumes (1,514 ± 143 ml/m2) and reduced red cell volumes (707 ± 79 ml/m2) were measured preoperatively. Blood (1,150 ± 196 ml) was removed and replaced with 1,333 ± 204 ml of colloid. Blood volume before and after ANH was equal and amounted to 3,740 ml. Intraoperatively, plasma volume did not increase until retransfusion despite infusing 3,389 ± 1,021 ml of crystalloid (corrected for urine output) to compensate for an estimated surgical blood loss of 727 ± 726 ml. Postoperatively, after retransfusion of all autologous blood, blood volume was 255 ± 424 ml higher than preoperatively before ANH. Despite mean calculated blood loss of 1,256 ± 892 ml, only one patient received allogeneic blood.During ANH, normovolemia was exactly maintained. After surgical blood loss of 1,256 ± 892 ml, crystalloid and colloid supplies of 5,752 ± 1,462 ml and 1,667 ± 548 ml, respectively, and complete intraoperative retransfusions of autologous blood in every patient, mean blood volume was 250 ml higher than preoperatively before ANH.