Cardiac Surgery

Hydroxyethyl Starch as a Priming Solution for Cardiopulmonary Bypass Impairs Hemostasis After Cardiac Surgery.

Kuitunen AH, Hynynen MJ, Vahtera E, Salmenpera MT.

Anesth Analg. 2004 Feb; 98(2): 291-297.

Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Meilahti Hospital, Helsinki, Finland. Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Jorvi Hospital, Espoo, Finland. Finnish Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Helsinki, Finland.

We investigated the influence of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) as a priming solution for the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuit on postoperative hemostasis in 45 patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting. In a randomized sequence, 20 mL/kg of low-molecular-weight HES (HES 120; molecular weight 120,000 daltons), high-molecular-weight HES (HES 400; molecular weight 400,000 daltons), or 4% human albumin (ALB) was used as the main component of the CPB priming solution. The thromboelastographic values indicating the speed of solid clot formation (alpha-angle) and the strength of the fibrin clot (maximum amplitude and shear elastic modulus) were decreased up to 2 h after CPB in both HES groups. Four hours after the operation, blood loss through the chest tubes had increased in the HES groups: HES 120, mean 804 mL (range, 330-1390 mL); HES 400, mean 1008 mL (range, 505-1955 mL); and ALB, mean 681 mL (range, 295-1500 mL) (P < 0.05 between the HES 400 and ALB groups). We conclude that HES solutions, when given in doses of 20 mL/kg in connection with the CPB prime, compromise hemostasis after cardiac surgery. This effect appears related to formation of a less stable thrombus compared with that formed in the presence of ALB. IMPLICATIONS: The influence of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on postoperative hemostasis was investigated in cardiac surgery. The thromboelastographic values indicated that HES solutions, when given in connection with the cardiopulmonary bypass prime, compromise hemostasis after cardiac surgery. This effect seems to occur through the formation of a less stable clot.