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Pape, A.; Kertscho, H.; Stein, P.; Lossen, M.; Horn, O.; Kutschker, S.; Zwissler, Bernhard; Habler, O. (2012): Neuromuscular Blockade with Rocuronium Bromide Increases the Tolerance of Acute Normovolemic Anemia in Anesthetized Pigs. In: European Surgical Research, Nr. 1: S. 16-25
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Abstract

Background: The patient's individual anemia tolerance is pivotal when blood transfusions become necessary, but are not feasible for some reason. To date, the effects of neuromuscular blockade (NMB) on anemia tolerance have not been investigated. Methods: 14 anesthetized and mechanically ventilated pigs were randomly assigned to the Roc group (3.78 mg/kg rocuronium bromide followed by continuous infusion of 1 mg/kg/min, n = 7) or to the Sal group (administration of the corresponding volume of normal saline, n = 7). Subsequently, acute normovolemic anemia was induced by simultaneous exchange of whole blood for a 6% hydroxyethyl starch solution (130/0.4) until a sudden decrease of total body O-2 consumption (VO2) indicated a critical limitation of O-2 transport capacity. The Hb concentration quantified at this time point (Hb(crit)) was the primary end-point of the protocol. Secondary endpoints were parameters of hemodynamics, O-2 transport and tissue oxygenation. Results: Hb(crit) was significantly lower in the Roc group (2.4 +/- 0.5 vs. 3.2 +/- 0.7 g/dl) reflecting increased anemia tolerance. NMB with rocuronium bromide reduced skeletal muscular VO2 and total body O-2 extraction rate. As the cardiac index increased simultaneously, total body VO2 only decreased marginally in the Roc group (change of VO2 relative to baseline -1.7 +/- 0.8 vs. 3.2 +/- 1.9% in the Sal group, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Deep NMB with rocuronium bromide increases the tolerance of acute normovolemic anemia. The underlying mechanism most likely involves a reduction of skeletal muscular VO2. During acellular treatment of an acute blood loss, NMB might play an adjuvant role in situations where profound stages of normovolemic anemia have to be tolerated (e.g. bridging an unexpected blood loss until blood products become available for transfusion). Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel