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Blood volume and hemodynamics during treatment of major hemorrhage with Ringer solution, 5% albumin, and 20% albumin: a single-center randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Volume replacement with crystalloid fluid is the conventional treatment of hemorrhage. We challenged whether a standardized amount of 5% or 20% albumin could be a viable option to maintain the blood volume during surgery associated with major hemorrhage. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify and compare the plasma volume expansion properties of 5% albumin, 20% albumin, and Ringer-lactate, when infused during major surgery.

METHODS: In this single-center randomized controlled trial, fluid replacement therapy to combat hypovolemia during the hemorrhagic phase of cystectomy was randomly allocated in 42 patients to receive either 5% albumin (12 mL/kg) or 20% albumin (3 mL/kg) over 30 min at the beginning of the hemorrhagic phase, both completed by a Ringer-lactate replacing blood loss in a 1:1 ratio, or Ringer-lactate alone to replace blood loss in a 3:1 ratio. Measurements of blood hemoglobin over 5 h were used to estimate the effectiveness of each fluid to expand the blood volume using the following regression equation: blood loss plus blood volume expansion = factor + volume of infused albumin + volume of infused Ringer-lactate.

RESULTS: The median hemorrhage was 848 mL [IQR: 615-1145]. The regression equation showed that the Ringer-lactate solution expanded the plasma volume by 0.18 times the infused volume while the corresponding power of 5% and 20% albumin was 0.74 and 2.09, respectively. The Ringer-lactate only fluid program resulted in slight hypovolemia (mean, - 313 mL). The 5% and 20% albumin programs were more effective in filling the vascular system; this was evidenced by blood volume changes of only + 63 mL and - 44 mL, respectively, by long-lasting plasma volume expansion with median half time of 5.5 h and 4.8 h, respectively, and by an increase in the central venous pressure.

CONCLUSION: The power to expand the plasma volume was 4 and almost 12 times greater for 5% albumin and 20% albumin than for Ringer-lactate, and the effect was sustained over 5 h. The clinical efficacy of albumin during major hemorrhage was quite similar to previous studies with no hemorrhage.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT05391607, date of registration May 26, 2022.

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