Objective: Preoperative acute normovolemic hemodilution induces an increase in circulatory output that is thought to be limited in patients with cardiac diseases. Using multiple-plane transesophageal echocardiography, we investigated the mechanisms of cardiovascular adaptation during acute normovolemic hemodilution in patients with severe coronary artery disease.
Design: Prospective case-control study.
Setting: Operating theater in a university hospital.
Patients: Consecutive patients treated with beta-blockers, scheduled to undergo coronary artery bypass (n = 50).
Interventions: After anesthesia induction, blood withdrawal and isovolemic exchange with iso-oncotic starch (1:1.15 ratio) to achieve a hematocrit value of 28%.
Measurements and main results: In addition to heart rate and intravascular pressures, echocardiographic recordings were obtained before and after acute normovolemic hemodilution to assess cardiac preload, afterload, and contractility. In a control group, not subjected to acute normovolemic hemodilution, hemodynamic variables remained stable during a 20-min anesthesia period. Following acute normovolemic hemodilution, increases in cardiac stroke volume (+28 +/- 4%; mean +/- sd) were correlated with increases in central venous pressure (+2.0 +/- 1.3 mm Hg; R = .56) and in left ventricular end-diastolic area (+18 +/- 5%, R = .39). The unchanged left ventricular end-systolic wall stress and preload-adjusted maximal power indicated that neither left ventricular afterload nor contractility was affected by acute normovolemic hemodilution. Diastolic left ventricular filling abnormalities (15 of 22 cases) improved in 11 patients and were stable in the remaining four patients. Despite reduction in systemic oxygen delivery (-20.5 +/- 7%, p < .05), there was no evidence for myocardial ischemia (electrocardiogram, left ventricular wall motion abnormalities).
Conclusions: In anesthetized patients with coronary artery disease, moderate acute normovolemic hemodilution did not compromise left ventricular systolic and diastolic function. Lowering blood viscosity resulted in increased stroke volume that was mainly related to increased venous return and higher cardiac preload.