Fresh whole blood resuscitation does not exacerbate skeletal muscle edema and long-term functional deficit after ischemic injury and hemorrhagic shock

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Hemorrhagic shock caused by extremity vascular injuries is common in combat injuries. Fluid resuscitation is the standard treatment for severe hemorrhage (HEM). Tourniquets (TKs) used for HEM control cause ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury that induces edema formation in the injured muscle. Resuscitation fluids affect edema formation; however, its effect on long-term functional response remains unknown. The objectives of this study are to (1) compare acute muscle damage; (2) determine long-term functional recovery of ischemic muscle; and (3) compare local and systemic inflammatory response including the expression of junctional proteins following early resuscitation with Hextend and fresh whole blood using a rodent model of combined HEM and TK-induced limb I/R.

METHODS

Anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats underwent 42.5% arterial HEM, followed by 3 hours of TK application. Animals were either not resuscitated or resuscitated with Hextend or fresh whole blood. Two time points were evaluated, 2 and 28 days. Plasma cytokine concentrations were determined at baseline and end resuscitation. At 2 days, edema formation, expression of junctional proteins, and tissue level cytokines concentrations were evaluated. At 28 days, in vivo muscle contractile properties were determined. At both time points, routine histology was performed and graded using a semiquantitative grading system.

RESULTS

All animals developed hemorrhagic hypovolemia; the mortality rate was 100% in nonresuscitated rats. Hextend resuscitation exacerbated muscle edema (~11%) and muscle strength deficit (~20%). Fresh whole blood resuscitation presented edema and muscle strength akin to TK only. Fresh whole blood resuscitation upregulated expression of junctional proteins including proangiogenic factors and dampened the inflammatory response.

CONCLUSION

Fresh whole blood resuscitation does not exacerbate either TK-induced edema or muscle strength deficit. Fresh whole blood resuscitation may reduce both acute and long-term morbidity associated with extremity trauma. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the nature of the resuscitation fluid administered following HEM impacts short- and long-term indices of I/R in skeletal muscle.

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