Plasma concentrations of calcium, phosphate, citrate, albumin, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were measured during and after exchange transfusion of infants suffering from haemolytic disease using blood anticoagulated with acid-citrate and dextrose (ACD) or heparin. Pretransfusion plasma PTH and phosphate both correlated positively with postnatal age but not with each other. Transfusion with ACD blood caused a twelvefold rise in plasma citrate levels but no significant change in plasma calcium, phosphate, or PTH of the infant, despite the concentration of these substances being lower in the donor blood. The concentration of calcium, phosphate, and albumin was higher in heparinized than in ACD donor blood, and infants transfused with heparinized blood showed no change in the plasma concentration of any substance measured during transfusion. The addition of 50 mug glucagon to ACD donor blood had no effect on PTH secretion. 3 hours after transfusion there was a rise in the plasma PTH infants who had received ACD blood but not in those given heparinized blood. Transfusion with ACD blood caused a net loss of calcium, phosphate and albumin from the infant, whereas transfusion with heparin blood did not. Both types of transfusion caused a net loss of PTH but this was significantly greater in those given ACD blood. These results show that transfusion with ACD blood results in increased secretion of PTH, probably due to the fall in ionized calcium concentration caused by the citrate load.
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