Early physiologic responses to hemorrhagic hypotension

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The identification of early indicators of hemorrhagic hypotension (HH) severity may support early therapeutic approaches and bring insights into possible mechanistic implications. However, few systematic investigations of physiologic variables during early stages of hemorrhage are available. We hypothesized that, in certain subjects, early physiologic responses to blood loss are associated with the ability to survive hemorrhage levels that are lethal to subjects that do not present the same responses. Therefore, we examine the relevance of specific systemic changes during and after the bleeding phase of HH. Stepwise hemorrhage, representing prehospital situations, was performed in 44 rats, and measurements were made after each step. Heart and respiratory rates, arterial and venous blood pressures, gases, acid-base status, glucose, lactate, electrolytes, hemoglobin, O2 saturation, tidal volume, and minute volume were measured before, during, and after bleeding 40% of the total blood volume. Fifty percent of rats survived 100min (survivors, S) or longer; others were considered nonsurvivors (NS). Our findings were as follows: (1) S and NS subjected to a similar hemorrhage challenge showed significantly different responses during nonlethal levels of bleeding; (2) survivors showed higher blood pressure and ventilation than NS; (3) although pH was lower in NS at later stages, changes in bicarbonate and base excess occurred already during the hemorrhage phase and were higher in NS; and (4) plasma K+ levels and glucose extraction were higher in NS. We conclude that cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses, essential for the survival at HH, can differentiate between S and NS even before a lethal bleeding was reached.

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