The purpose of this study was to develop a swine model of surgically induced blood loss to evaluate the performances of a new autotransfusion system allowing red blood cells and platelets preservation while collecting, washing and concentrating hemorrhagic blood intraoperatively.
Two types of surgically induced blood loss were used in 12 minipigs to assess system performance and potential animal complications following autotransfusion: a cardiac model (cardiopulmonary bypass) and a visceral model (induced splenic bleeding). Animal clinical and hematological parameters were evaluated at different time-points from before bleeding to the end of a 72-hour post-transfusion period and followed by a post-mortem examination. System performances were evaluated by qualitative and quantitative parameters.
All animals that received the autotransfusion survived. Minimal variations were seen on the red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit at the different sampling times. Coagulation tests failed to show any hypo or hypercoagulable state. Gross and histologic examination didn’t reveal any thrombotic lesions. Performance parameters exceeded set objectives in both models: heparin clearance (≥ 90%), final heparin concentration (≤ 0.5 IU/mL), free hemoglobin washout (≥ 90%) and hematocrit (between 45% and 65%). The device treatment rate of diluted blood was over 80 mL/min.
In the present study, both animal models succeeded in reproducing clinical conditions of perioperative cardiac and non-cardiac blood loss. Sufficient blood was collected to allow evaluation of autotransfusion effects on animals and to demonstrate the system performance by evaluating its capacity to collect, wash and concentrate red blood cells and platelets. Reinfusion of the treated blood, containing not only concentrated red blood cells but also platelets, did not lead to any postoperative adverse nor thrombogenic events. Clinical and comparative studies need to be conducted to confirm the clinical benefit of platelet reinfusion