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Int J Sports Med. 2005 Jul-Aug;26(6):405-8.

Hemoglobin and hematocrit values after saline infusion and tourniquet.

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Department of Movement Sciences, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


This study attempted to contribute to standardization of blood testing in sport, and to investigate the effect of artificial dilution with saline. In 10 healthy, physically active males and 3 healthy physically active females hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Ht), and % reticulocytes (%retics) were measured at different time points to look for possible fluctuations during day time, while the subjects had regular coffee breaks and lunch. In 7 of the subjects in a separate experiment 500 ml of saline were infused around 8 am and Hb, Ht, and %retics were measured before and every hour thereafter until 7 hours after infusion. In addition Ht was measured on a hematological analyzer as well as with a centrifuge. In a separate experiment the effect of tourniquet duration on Hb and Ht was studied in 9 of the subjects. The results show that Hb, Ht, and %retics are stable from 8 am to 4 pm, but that infusion of 500 ml of saline induces an acute decrease in Hb and Ht within one hour (Hb decreased from 15.2+/-0.9 g/dl to 14.5+/-1.0 g/dl, and Ht from 45.6+/-2.8 % to 44.0+/-2.5 %). The decline in Hb and Ht was maintained during the 7-hour observation period. Ht values of the same samples measured with a hematological analyzer and a centrifuge were not different. Application of the tourniquet did significantly affect Hb and Ht values only from two minutes, and thereafter Hb and Ht remained stable during the rest of the 5-minute tourniquet. With blood testing in sport these results have to be taken into consideration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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