Heparin versus citrate regional anticoagulation during autotransfusion in a porcine intra-abdominal hemorrhage model

Thomas R. Howdieshell, Mark Gay, Joseph T. Dipiro, Sam Mooney, Ron Duvall, Sherri Eckles, Robert Baisden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Our objective was to determine the effects of anticoagulants and blood loss on hemodynamic, hematologic, and coagulation parameters following autotransfusion in an animal model of intraabdominal hemorrhage. We performed a prospective, randomized observational animal study at an animal research laboratory at a university medical center. Eight Landrace, domestic pigs, weighing 17-23 kg, each underwent jugular venous and lilac arterial catheterization and laparotomy with retroperitoneal dissection for aortic exposure to simulate an operative environment. Following baseline laboratory and hemodynamic determinations, intra-abdominal hemorrhage was accomplished via aortotomy in three sequential 10 mL/kg blood volumes. After allowing pooling in the exposed retroperitoneum to ensure tissue contact, the shed blood was suctioned, processed, and washed in an autotransfusion device utilizing either heparin (n = 4) or acid-citrate-dextrose (n = 4) as a system anticoagulant. Prior to autologous transfusion, each pig received a 20 mL/kg intravenous bolus of 0.9 per cent saline to treat shock. The processed blood was then infused, and laboratory and hemodynamic measurements were repeated following each cycle of hemorrhage and autotransfusion. Sequential fixed volume hemorrhage resulted in significant reductions in mean arterial pressure. Despite crystalloid infusion and transfusion of processed shed blood, postresuscitation mean arterial pressure did not return to baseline values, with no difference noted between anticoagulant groups. Infusion of increasing volumes of autologous blood resulted in significant reductions in hematocrit, platelet count, fibrinogen, antithrombin III, ionized calcium, and total protein. The decrease in concentration of each variable was independent of the choice of anticoagulant with the exception of antithrombin III, with higher levels noted in animals receiving blood anticoagulated with acid-citrate-dextrose. Prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time were unaffected by volume of autologous transfusion or choice of anticoagulant. We conclude that changes in hemodynamic, hematologic, and coagulation parameters associated with hemorrhage and autotransfusion appear related more to the volume of blood loss and the cumulative pheresis of plasma than to the choice of anticoagulant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1014-1018
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 12 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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