Background: Hemoglobin-based blood substitutes appear poised to deliver the promise of a universally compatible, disease-free alternative to banked blood. However, vasoconstriction following administration of tetrameric hemoglobins has been problematic, likely because of nitric oxide binding. Polymerized hemoglobin is effectively excluded from the abluminal space because of its size, and is thus less likely to perturb vasorelaxation. We therefore hypothesized that hemodynamic responses would be no different in injured patients receiving polymerized hemoglobin versus banked blood.
Methods: Injured patients requiring urgent transfusion were randomized to receive either polymerized hemoglobin or banked blood. Systemic arterial pressure, pulmonary arterial pressure, cardiac index, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, systemic vascular resistance, and pulmonary vascular resistance were measured serially.
Results: There was no difference in any of the measured hemodynamic parameters between patients resuscitated with polymerized hemoglobin versus blood.
Conclusions: Polymerized hemoglobin given in large doses to injured patients lacks the vasoconstrictive effects reported in the use of other hemoglobin-based blood substitutes. This supports the continued investigation of polymerized hemoglobin in injured patients requiring urgent transfusion.
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☆This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Grants P50GM49222 and T32GM08315.
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