ABSTRACT: Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOC) have been primarily studied for blood loss treatment. More recently infusions of HBOC in euvolemic subjects have been proposed for a wide variety of potential therapies in which increased tissue oxygenation would be beneficial. However, compared with the exchange transfusion models to study blood loss, less is known about HBOC oxygen delivery and vasoacitvity when it is infused in euvolemic subjects. We hypothesized that HBOC [polymerized bovine hemoglobin (PBvHb)] infusion creating hypervolemia would increase oxygen delivery to tissues during acute global hypoxia. Vascular oxygen content and hemodynamics were determined after euvolemic rats were infused with 3 ml of either lactated Ringer or PBvHb solution (13 g/dl, 1.3 g/kg) during acute hypoxia (FIO2 = 10%, 4 h) or normoxia (FIO2 = 21%) exposure. Our data demonstrated that compared with Ringer-infused animals, in hypoxia and normoxia, PBvHb treatment improved oxygen content but raised mean arterial pressure, lowered stroke volume, heart rate, and cardiac index, which resulted in a net reduction in blood flow and oxygen delivery to the tissues. The PBvHb vasoactive effect was similar in magnitude and direction as to the Ringer-infused animals treated with a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor nitro-l-arginine, suggesting the PBvHb effect is mediated via nitric oxide scavenging. We conclude that infusion of PBvHb is not likely to be useful in treating global hypoxia under these conditions.
AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 07/2008; 295(3):H1090-H1099. · 3.71 Impact Factor