Background: Crystalloid and colloid infusion can be used in volume therapy following heart surgery. In this prospective, randomised study we compared Ringer's solution (group R) to Haemaccel (group H) following coronary artery bypass grafting.
Methods: A stringent protocol for adjusting the infusion rate was used. Haemodynamic parameters and pulmonary function were evaluated as well as chest tube drainage. The double -indicator dilution method was used to measure total blood volume index (TBVI), intrathoracic blood volume index (ITBVI) and extravascular lung water index (EVLWI).
Results: Haemodynamic stability was achieved in both groups throughout the study period, as judged from mean arterial pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, and cardiac index. However, the total volume infused was significantly higher in group R. TBVI and ITBV were higher in group H, although only significant at 8 h for TBVI. Pulmonary function was similar in both groups. There was no significant difference in EVLWI, pulmonary shunt fraction, and time on mechanical ventilation. Likewise, chest tube drainage was not significantly different in both groups.
Conclusion: We conclude that volume therapy with Haemaccel following heart surgery requires less volume and achieves better filling of the circulation compared to Ringer's solution.