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Anaesthesia. 2002 Nov;57(11):1102-8.

The in vitro effects of crystalloids and colloids on coagulation.

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Department of Neurosurgery, The National Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Classically haemodilution is regarded as causing coagulopathy. However, haemodilution with saline seems to cause a hypercoagulable state both in vivo and in vitro. The aim of the present study was to measure the effect of mild to severe haemodilution using thrombelastography. Blood samples were taken in 12 healthy volunteers and divided into seven aliquots. One aliquot was undiluted and acted as control. The other six were diluted with normal saline, Ringer Acetate, 4% albumin, Dextran 70, 6% and 10% hydroxyethylstarch to 10%, 20%, 40%, 50% and 60% dilution. The dilution was checked by measuring the haemoglobin concentration. Each aliquot was placed in a temperature-controlled thrombelastography channel. Increased coagulation activity, as measured by thrombelastography changes, was detected at low and medium levels of dilution with all the tested solutions. At more than 40% dilution, coagulation returned to normal while in the case of dextran and hydroxyethylstarch coagulopathy developed. For crystalloids and albumin,dilution had to exceed 50% before coagulation was impaired. If these findings can be reproduced in vivo, they may have implications for transfusion practice and prophylaxis against thrombosis.

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