Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 577–583

Mechanisms of postoperative prolonged plasma volume expansion with low molecular weight hydroxethy starch (HES 200/0.62, 6%)

  • A. C. Degrémont
  • M. Ismaïl
  • M. Arthaud
  • B. Oulare
  • O. Mundler
  • M. Paris
  • J. F. Baron



To define the mechanisms of the stable and prolonged post-operative plasma volume expansion observed with Hydroxyethyl Starches (HES) and to determine whether a partial intravascular hydrolysis of large molecules contribute to reinforce the colloid-osmotic effect.


Prospective, pharmacologic study using single dose of drug.


University-based, post-anesthesia care unit.


The protocol was performed during the post-operative period, in 10 patients after stable recovery from general anesthesia for carotid endarterectomy.


HES 200/0.62 (500 ml) was infused over 30 min. Standard hemodynamic and biological variables, HES concentration and colloid osmotic pressure were obtained at each measurement. Plasma volume was calculated using51Cr-labelled RBCs. Patterns of changes in number average molecular weight (MWn) and weight average MW (MWw) were measured using gel permeation chromatography. Measurements were obtained at control, end of infusion, 1 h, 3 h, 6 h and 24 h after infusion.

Measurements and main results

Plasma volume increased by 693 ml (+21%) after the infusion of HES and remained constant over 24 h. HES concentration progressively decreased to reach a value of 35% of the peak at 24 h. MWn and MWw, initially decreased when compared with the dose solution and changed little in the 24 h study period. Diuresis significantly decreased at 3 h up to 24 h. Plasma albumin decreased after infusion and then progressively increased to reach a significantly higher value at 24 h than after infusion.


Initial plasma volume expansion and decrease in HES concentration agree with previously-published data. Maintenance of plasma volume expansion over 24 h was not related to a partial intravascular hydrolysis. Low elimination rate of HES, extravascular mobilization of albumin and post-operative renal adaptations were possibly the 3 main mechanisms to explain a prolonged plasma volume expansion with HES 200/0.62, 6%.

Key words

Plasma volume Hydroxyethyl-starch Pharmacokinetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Degrémont
    • 1
  • M. Ismaïl
    • 2
  • M. Arthaud
    • 3
  • B. Oulare
    • 4
  • O. Mundler
    • 5
  • M. Paris
    • 4
  • J. F. Baron
    • 6
  1. 1.Départment d'Anesthésie-RéanimationHôpial TenonFrance
  2. 2.Départment d'Anesthésie-RéanimationHôpial Pitié-SalpétrièreParisFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire des UrgencesHôpital Pitié-SalpétrièreParisFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire Central de BiochimieHôpital BroussaisParisFrance
  5. 5.Laboratoire de Médecine NucléaireHôpital LariboisièreFrance
  6. 6.Départment d'Anesthésie-RéanimationHôpital BroussaisParisFrance

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