Desmopressin does not decrease blood loss and transfusion requirements in patients undergoing hepatectomy

Can J Anaesth. 2003 Jan;50(1):14-20. doi: 10.1007/BF03020180.


Purpose: To determine the effects of desmopressin on coagulation and blood loss in patients undergoing elective partial hepatectomy.

Methods: A randomized, controlled and double-blind study on 59 patients who received either 0.3 micro g x kg(-1) of desmopressin or an equal volume of normal saline (control) infused intravenously over 20 min after induction of general anesthesia.

Results: There was an increase in plasma levels of factors VIII and von Willebrand after the infusion of study drug in both groups (P < 0.001). The activated partial thromboplastin time was shortened in Group D whereas prothrombin time was prolonged in Group C; (P = 0.02). A large range of intraoperative blood loss (400-7128 mL) was observed, with no significant differences between groups. There were no changes in plasma electrolyte levels or osmolality. Transfusion requirements were similar in both groups.

Conclusion: Desmopressin did not reduce intraoperative blood loss or transfusion requirements during hepatectomy despite raising clotting factor levels and improving tests of hemostasis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Blood Transfusion*
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / drug effects
  • Hemostatics / therapeutic use*
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / blood*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Platelet Count
  • Potassium / blood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sodium / blood


  • Hemoglobins
  • Hemostatics
  • Sodium
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin
  • Potassium