Acute normovolaemic haemodilution decreases postoperative allogeneic blood transfusion after total knee replacement

D. Olsfanger, B. Fredman, B. Goldstein, A. Shapiro, R. Jedeikin

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We hypothesized that the success of postoperative blood conservation after acute normovolaemic haemodilution (NVHD) is influenced by the extent of intraoperative bleeding and surgical trauma, and the timing of autologous blood transfusion. As total knee replacement is associated with minimal intraoperative but extensive postoperative blood loss, this procedure is ideally suited to acute NVHD. Therefore, to test our hypothesis, 30 patients undergoing elective total knee replacement were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, controlled study. In groups NVHD-2 and NVHD-6, before induction of anaesthesia patients were bled to a target packed cell volume (PCV) of 28-30%, and in the post-anaesthesia care unit autologous blood was transfused over a 2-h period terminating after operation at 2 and 6 h, respectively. In the control group, NVHD was not performed. After operation, platelets, fibrinogen, prothrombin and partial thromboplastin time, and liver function, urea and electrolytes were measured and compared with preoperative baseline values. Significantly (P < 0.024) more allogeneic blood was transfused in the control group (21 u.) compared with either group NVHD-2 (7 u.) or group NVHD-6 (5 u.). In the control group, despite the allogeneic blood transfusion, postoperative PCV decreased until day 4 after operation. Coagulation profile, liver function and urea and electrolytes concentrations were unaffected by the method of treatment. We conclude that for total knee replacement, acute NVHD is an effective blood conservation strategy. However, there was no difference in allogeneic blood administration between the two NVHD groups, Coagulation and liver function, and urea and electrolyte concentrations were unaffected by treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-321
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Blood, haemodilution
  • Blood, transfusion
  • Surgery, orthopaedic
  • Transfusion, autotransfusion


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