Plasma viscosity regulates systemic and microvascular perfusion during acute extreme anemic conditions
The hamster window chamber model was used to study systemic and microvascular hemodynamic responses to extreme hemodilution with low- and high-viscosity plasma expanders (LVPE and HVPE, respectively) to determine whether plasma viscosity is a factor in homeostasis during extreme anemic conditions. Moderated hemodilution was induced by two isovolemic steps performed with 6% 70-kDa dextran until systemic hematocrit (Hct) was reduced to 18% (level 2). In a third isovolemic step, hemodilution with LVPE (6% 70-kDa dextran, 2.8 cP) or HVPE (6% 500-kDa dextran, 5.9 cP) reduced Hct to 11%. Systemic parameters, cardiac output (CO), organ flow distribution, microhemodynamics, and functional capillary density, were measured after each exchange dilution. Fluorescent-labeled microspheres were used to measure organ (brain, heart, kidney, liver, lung, and spleen) and window chamber blood flow. Final blood and plasma viscosities after the entire protocol were 2.1 and 1.4 cP, respectively, for LVPE and 2.8 and 2.2 cP, respectively, for HVPE (baseline = 4.2 and 1.2 cP, respectively). HVPE significantly elevated mean arterial pressure and CO compared with LVPE but did not increase vascular resistance. Functional capillary density was significantly higher for HVPE [87% (SD 7) of baseline] than for LVPE [42% (SD 11) of baseline]. Increases in mean arterial blood pressure, CO, and shear stress-mediated factors could be responsible for maintaining organ and microvascular perfusion after exchange with HVPE compared with LVPE. Microhemodynamic data corresponded to microsphere-measured perfusion data in vital organs.
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