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Summary: This clinical report investigated the potential benefit of acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) as a blood-saving technique in the surgical repair of craniosynostosis. Over a 4-year period, 34 healthy children undergoing surgical repair of scaphocephaly or pachycephaly were randomly assigned to two groups of 17 patients each. Patients of the first group (ANH group) were submitted to ANH (target Ht: 25%) immediately before surgery and patients of the second group (Control group) were not. During surgery, estimated blood loss was compensated with a 5% albumin solution and no autologous or homologous blood was transfused. At the end of surgery, intraoperative blood loss (mean /- SD) calculated on the basis of the Ht value and the children weight was 21.3 /- 8% of the estimated blood volume (EBV) in the ANH group and 24 /- 6.6% in the Control group. Children of the ANH group received their autologous blood (18.9 /- 3.3% of EBV) systematically at the end of surgery. In the postoperative period, homologous blood was transfused when the Ht value was equal or less than 21%. Both groups were comparable regarding age, weight, type of craniosynostosis, duration of surgery, EBV, and preoperative Ht value. No difference was observed between ANH and Control groups in the number of patients who received homologous blood (15/17 and 14/17, respectively), in the amount of homologous blood transfused (17 /- 4.7% and 19.6 /- 6.3% of the EBV, respectively), and in the Ht value before hospital discharge (29.4 /- 5.0% and 30.7 /- 4.9%, respectively). In conclusion, this report suggests that ANH reduces neither the incidence of homologous transfusion nor the amount of homologous blood transfused in this series of children undergoing surgical repair of craniosynostosis.

(C) 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.