Albumin prevents erythrocyte crenation in patients undergoing extracorporeal circulation.
Kamada T, McMillan DE, Sternlieb JJ, Bjork VO, Otsuji S.
Scand J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1988;22(2):155-8
Free fatty acid-induced massive erythrocyte crenation has been reported in patients undergoing extracorporeal circulation (EC), suggesting that the crenated cells impair microcirculatory flow and tissue oxygenation during and after the operation. Effect of albumin administration on erythrocyte crenation was examined in 18 patients undergoing coronary bypass operation: 9 patients were given 25 g and another 9 patients were given 50 g of human albumin as a part of the priming solution. Erythrocyte crenation was almost completely prevented in the patients given 50 g albumin. Crenated erythrocytes during EC were 3.6 +/- 2.3% (mean +/- SD) of all erythrocytes and 2.8 +/- 3.7% after EC. This was significantly lower than in patients without albumin administration (63.4 +/- 34.0% during EC and 28.6 +/- 33.3% after EC, n = 20). But the effect was less striking in the patients given 25 g albumin, 32.4 +/- 39.1% during and 28.3 +/- 40.8% after EC. Maintaining an adequate level of plasma albumin is important in preventing erythrocyte crenation during EC, improving microcirculatory flow in patients undergoing open heart surgery.