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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different strategies of blood volume restitution in the outcome of portal hypertension–related bleeding in anesthetized cirrhotic rats. Gastrointestinal hemorrhage was induced by sectioning a first order branch of the ileocolic vein in 38 cirrhotic rats (common bile duct ligation and occlusion). The subsequent hypovolemic shock was treated with no transfusion (n = 17), moderate transfusion (50% of expected blood loss, 5 mL, n = 11), and total transfusion (100% of expected blood loss, 10 mL, n = 10). At the end of the blood transfusion period (minute 15), mean arterial pressure (MAP) partially recovered in rats receiving moderate transfusion or no transfusion but decreased in the 10-mL transfusion group ([DOWNWARDS ARROW]12 ± 43%, P < .05 vs. no transfusion and 5 mL transfusion). After transfusion, groups given no or 5 mL transfusion remained hemodynamically stable. However, rats receiving 10 mL transfusion continued to deteriorate with persistent bleeding and progressive fall in MAP ([DOWNWARDS ARROW]65 ± 12%; P < .05 vs. no transfusion and 5 mL transfusion). Collected blood loss was significantly greater in the 10-mL group (20.0 ± 1.5 g) than in groups given 5 mL (15.9 ± 2.8 g; P < .05) or no transfusion (13.2 ± 2.1 g; P < .05 vs. 10 mL and 5 mL transfusion). Survival in the no transfusion group was 47%. Rats given 5-mL transfusion had 64% survival. The worst survival was observed in the 10-mL transfusion group (0% survival; P < .05). We concluded that a transfusion policy aimed at completely replacing blood loss worsens the magnitude of bleeding and mortality from portal hypertensive-related bleeding in cirrhotic rats. On the contrary, moderate blood transfusion allowed hemodynamic stabilization and increased survival.