Background: The paradigm that children maintain normal blood pressure during hemorrhagic shock until 30%–45% hemorrhage is widely accepted. There are minimal data supporting when decompensation occurs and how a child's vasculature compensates up to that point. We aimed to observe the arterial response to hemorrhage and when mean arterial pressure (MAP) decreased from baseline in pediatric swine. Methods: Piglets were hemorrhaged in 20% increments of their total blood volume to 60%. MAP and angiograms of the thoracic aorta (TA) and abdominal arteries were obtained. Percent change in area of the vessels from baseline was calculated. Results: Piglets (n = 8) had a differential vasoconstriction starting at 20% hemorrhage (celiac artery 36.3% [31.4–44.6] vs TA 16.7% [10.7–19.1] p = 0.0012). At 40% hemorrhage, the differential vasoconstriction favored shunting blood away from the abdominal visceral branches to the TA (celiac artery 54.7% [36.9–60.6] vs TA 29.5% [23.9–36.2] p = 0.0056 superior mesenteric artery 46.7% [43.9–68.6] vs TA 29.5% [23.9–36.2] p = 0.0100). This was exacerbated at 60% hemorrhage. MAP decreased from baseline at 20% hemorrhage (66.4 ± 6.0 mmHg vs 41.4 ± 10.4 mmHg, p < 0.0001), and worsened at 40% and 60% hemorrhage. Conclusion: In piglets, a differential vasocontriction shunting blood proximally occurred in response to hemorrhage. This did not maintain normal MAP at 20%, 40% or 60% hemorrhage. Level of evidence: Level II.
- Differential vasoconstriction
- Hemorrhagic shock
- Pediatric physiology
- Pediatric trauma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health