Clinical Utility of Intra-Operative 6% Hydroxyethyl Starch (130 / 0.4) Supplementation in Hypoxemic Femur Injury Patients: A Preliminary Report of Twenty Cases


1 Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

2 Orthopedic Surgery Department, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India


Posttraumatic intravasation of fat and debris can lead to a cascade of events. Hydroxyethyl starches (HES) markedly suppress neutrophil influx by decreasing pulmonary capillary permeability and facilitating tissue oxygenation by improving microcirculation. It was hypothesized that in hypoxemic femur injury patients undergoing operative stabilization, HES administration will prevent the deterioration of respiratory variables and facilitates recovery. This prospective, double-blind, randomized preliminary study, enrolled twenty posttraumatic hypoxemic patients (room air PaO2 < 70 mmHg, Schonfeld fat embolism index score (SS) > 5) scheduled for femur fracture stabilization under general anesthesia. Patients were allocated to receive either; 6% HES 130/0.42, 15 mL/kg or 0.9% normal saline (NS) to maintain their central venous pressure (CVP) 12 + 2 mm Hg. Blood was transfused according to the maximum allowable blood loss and by serial hematocrit estimations. Perioperative Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), physiological variables, arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2), arterial blood gas (ABG), SS and P/F ratios were recorded until recovery. The partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood / fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2/FiO2) improved from a preoperative value of 273.33 ± 13.05 to 435.70 in the 6% Hydroxyethyl starch group (HES) and from 275.24 ± 15.34 to 302.25 ± 70.35 in the NS group over a period of six days (P values =0.970, 0.791, 0.345, 0.226, 0.855, 0.083, 0.221). Time taken to achieve a P/F ratio > 300 and for persistent reduction of Murray’s lung injury score (LIS) were comparable (P = 0.755 and 0.348, respectively). The number of ventilator, intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stay days, did not differ (P value = 0.234, 1.00, 0. 301, respectively). There were no adverse sequelae or mortalities. A trend showing relatively fast improvement in the P/F ratio and an early reduction in LIS values was observed in hypoxemic, femur injury patients receiving intraoperative colloid supplementation.