Standards and Best Practice for Acute Normovolemic Hemodilution: Evidence-based Consensus Recommendations

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020 Jul;34(7):1755-1760. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2020.01.019. Epub 2020 Jan 17.


Objective: To develop a standardized approach to the implementation and performance of acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) in order to reduce the incidence of bleeding and allogeneic blood transfusion in high-risk surgical bleeding-related cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).

Design: A 2-round modified RAND-Delphi consensus process.

Participants: Seven physicians from multiple geographic locations and clinical disciplines including anesthesiology and cardiac surgery and 1 cardiac surgery perfusionist participated in the survey. One registered nurse, specializing in Patient Blood Management, participated in the discussion but did not participate in the survey.

Methods: A modified RAND-Delphi method was utilized that integrated evidence review with a face-to-face expert multidisciplinary panel meeting, followed by repeated scoring using a 9-point Likert scale. Consensus was determined as a result from the second round survey, as follows: median rating of 1-3: ANH acceptable; median rating of 7-9: ANH not acceptable; median rating of 4-6: use clinical judgment.

Results: Evidentiary review identified 18 key peer-reviewed manuscripts for discussion. Through the consensus-building process, 39 statements including 26 contraindications to ANH and 10 CPB patient variables were assessed. In total, 22 statements were accepted or modified for the second scoring round.

Conclusions: Consensus was reached on 6 conditions in which ANH would or would not be acceptable, showing that development of a standardized approach for the use of ANH in high-risk surgical bleeding and allogeneic blood transfusion is clearly possible. The recommendations developed by this expert panel may help guide the management and inclusion of ANH as an evidence and consensus-based blood conservation modality.

Keywords: acute normovolemic hemodilution; blood transfusion; cardiac surgery; cardiopulmonary bypass; guidelines; recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Consensus
  • Hemodilution*
  • Humans
  • Reference Standards