Molar substitution and C2/C6 ratio of hydroxyethyl starch: influence on blood coagulation

Br J Anaesth. 2006 Apr;96(4):455-63. doi: 10.1093/bja/ael019. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Background: Development of hydroxyethyl starches (HES) with a low impact on blood coagulation but a long intravascular persistence is of clinical interest. A previous in vitro study showed that low substituted high molecular weight HES does not compromise blood coagulation more than medium molecular weight HES. In the present study we assessed the individual effects on blood coagulation of molar substitution and C2/C6 ratio of a high molecular weight HES.

Methods: Blood was obtained from 30 healthy patients undergoing elective surgery and mixed with six high molecular weight (700 kDa) HES solutions differing in their molar substitution (0.42 and 0.51) and C2/C6 ratio (2.7, 7 and 14) to achieve 20, 40 and 60% dilution. Blood coagulation was assessed by Thrombelastograph analysis (TEG) and plasma coagulation tests. Data were compared using a three-way analysis of variance model with repeated measures on the three factors.

Results: Higher molar substitution compromised blood coagulation most (for all TEG parameters, P<0.05). The lowest C2/C6 ratio was associated with the lowest effect on blood coagulation; r (P<0.001), angle alpha (P=0.003) and coagulation index (P<0.001). No effect on k and maximum amplitude was observed (P for both >0.50). The higher molar substitution was associated with a lesser increase in PT (P=0.007) and a greater decrease in factor VIII (P=0.010). PTT, functional and antigenic von Willebrand factors were not significantly influenced by molar substitution (P for all >0.20). No significant differences between solutions with the same molar substitution but different C2/C6 ratios were found in plasma coagulation parameters (P for all >0.05).

Conclusions: TEG analysis indicates that high molecular HES with a molar substitution of 0.42 and a C2/C6 ratio of 2.7 has the lowest effect on in vitro human blood coagulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects*
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyethyl Starch Derivatives / chemistry
  • Hydroxyethyl Starch Derivatives / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Weight
  • Plasma Substitutes / chemistry
  • Plasma Substitutes / pharmacology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thrombelastography


  • Hemoglobins
  • Hydroxyethyl Starch Derivatives
  • Plasma Substitutes