Perioperative clinical and economic outcomes associated with replacing first-generation high molecular weight hydroxyethyl starch (Hextend®) with low molecular weight hydroxyethyl starch (Voluven®) at a large medical center.

Published online

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Several plasma volume expander alternatives exist to enhance intravascular volume status in patients undergoing surgery. The optimal intravascular volume expander in the perioperative setting is currently unknown. Low molecular weight hetastarch, Voluven® (130/0.4), may have a better safety profile than high molecular weight hetastarch, Hextend® (450/0.7). We examined the clinical and cost outcomes of converting from Hextend® to Voluven® in a large tertiary medical center. METHODS: Using a large electronic database, we retrospectively compared two different time periods (2009 and 2010) where the availability of semisynthetic colloids changed. Perioperative and postoperative outcomes including the use of red blood cells (RBC), platelets and coagulation factors, length of stay in the postoperative acute care unit (PACU), intensive care unit and hospital, as well as 30-day and 1-year mortality were compared. In addition, direct acquisition costs of all intraoperative and PACU colloids and crystalloid use were determined. RESULTS: A total of 4,888 adult subjects were compared of which 1,878 received Hextend® (pre-conversion) and 2,759 received Voluven® (post-conversion) during two separate 7-month periods within 1 year apart, with the remainder receiving Plasmanate. The patients were similar in terms of patient demographics, preoperative comorbidities, ASA status, emergency surgery, types of surgery, intraoperative, and PACU times. In unadjusted outcomes, patients in the Hextend® group received more lactated Ringer's than in the Voluven® group (2,220 + 1,312 vs. 1,946 ± 1,097 ml; P < 0.0001). The use of albumin (Plasmanate) was reduced from 10.5% of patients to 1.1% when Voluven® was substituted for Hextend®. Unadjusted outcomes were similar in each group including hospital LOS, percent change from baseline creatinine and receipt of intraoperative and PACU blood product administration. However, overall unadjusted total fluid costs were greater in the Voluven® compared to Hextend® group ($116.7 compared to $59.3; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Conversion from Hextend® to Voluven® in the perioperative period resulted in decreased albumin use and was not associated with changes in clinical outcomes and short- and long-term mortality. The conversion was associated with decreases in crystalloid use and an increase in colloid use and hence IV fluid acquisition costs in the Voluven® group.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bartz, RR; White, WD; Gan, TJ

Published Date

  • 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 /

Start / End Page

  • 2 -

PubMed ID

  • 25741439

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25741439

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2047-0525

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13741-015-0013-0


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England