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Effects of Hypertonic Resuscitation

Shields, C J. MD; Winter, D C. MD

doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000151480.61598.E4
Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements

St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin 4, Ireland,

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To the Editor:

We read with interest the article by Braz et al. (1) on hypertonic saline and its effects on systemic and gastrointestinal oxygenation in a model of hemorrhagic shock and wish to commend the authors on the quality of their work. Perhaps not surprisingly, although improving oxygenation, hypertonic saline resuscitation resulted in a significantly lower arterial pH than did other resuscitation fluids. A hypertonic extracellular environment impacts upon cytoskeletal dynamics, causing cellular shrinkage with extravasation of osmotic water, accompanied by alterations in protein kinase phosphorylation, gene translation, and second messenger cascades (2,3). The resultant changes in transmembrane potential and cytosolic ion composition impact significantly upon natriferic transport, which influences local pH and metabolism (4,5).

In addition to intravascular volume expansion by interstitial fluid mobilization, the benefits of transient hyperosmolar resuscitation include direct myocardial stimulation (6), reduced flow viscosity with peripheral arterial dilation (7), and end-organ protection (8,9). Added to this are the findings of Braz et al. (1) on gut and systemic oxygenation. These characteristics of hypertonic saline render it a unique resuscitation agent that has the potential to attenuate organ injury in systemic inflammatory and shocked states.

C. J. Shields, MD

D. C. Winter, MD

St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Dublin 4, Ireland

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© 2005 International Anesthesia Research Society