Intraoperative hypotension is a common event, and a recent study suggests that maintenance of blood pressure may reduce complications. The splanchnic circulation provides a reservoir of blood that can be mobilized during hemorrhage; hence, intestinal microcirculation is sensitive to volume changes. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of hemorrhage on intestinal microcirculation and hemodynamics, and the effects of phenylephrine on these parameters.
Eight anesthetized, mechanically ventilated Yorkshire/Landrace crossbreed pigs were studied. Graded hemorrhage was performed with the removal of 20% of blood volume in 5% increments. Hemodynamic and intestinal microcirculatory measurements were performed at each stage with side-stream dark field microscopy, following which mean arterial pressure (MAP) was corrected with phenylephrine to baseline values and measurements repeated. A repeated measurement 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compared changes from baseline measurements.
The mean baseline microcirculation score was 42 (standard deviation [SD] = 5). A 5% hemorrhage decreased the microcirculation score by a mean difference of 19 (95% confidence interval [CI], 12-27; P < .0001), and an additional 5% hemorrhage further reduced the microcirculation score by a mean difference of 12 (95% CI, 4-19; P = .0001). Subsequent hemorrhage or administration of phenylephrine did not significantly change the microcirculation scores except when phenylephrine was administered at the 15% hemorrhage stage, which increased the microcirculation score by a mean difference of 7 (95% CI, 1-13; P = .003). All hemodynamic variables were returned to baseline values following hemorrhage by the phenylephrine infusion.
Intestinal microcirculatory flow is reduced early in hemorrhage and is uncorrected by phenylephrine infusion. Hemodynamic changes associated with hemorrhage are corrected by phenylephrine and do not reflect microcirculatory flow status.