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Measurement of plasma volume in neonates.
  1. M Y Anthony,
  2. S R Goodall,
  3. M Papouli,
  4. M I Levene
  1. University Department of Child Health, General Infirmary, Leeds.


    There is no reliable and safe method for measuring plasma volume in ill newborn infants. We describe an adaptation of the dye dilution technique using indocyanine green as the plasma label, which can be used in the sickest and smallest of infants with the minimum of disturbance. To avoid the need to take large volumes of blood from the infant, samples were diluted 1:1 with distilled water and pooled adult sera was used to construct the dye dilution standard curves. Eighteen preterm and fullterm infants were studied on 30 occasions. The measured plasma volume ranged between 21.4 and 106 ml/kg. Paired measurements were performed within 30-90 minutes of each other in seven infants. In five infants estimations of plasma volume were made shortly before and 30 minutes after the infusion of a known quantity of plasma. In eight out of 12 infants who had two measurements made there was close agreement between the second measured volume and the first measured volume, taking into account how much plasma had been given to or taken from the infant between the two measurements. The error ranged from 0.2 to 5.2 ml and the plasma recovery error ranged from -2.9% to +4.7%. In the remaining four infants the errors ranged from 2.1 to 9.5 ml and -14.2% to +8.8%. Errors in the measurement of plasma volume may arise as the result of sampling too early before full mixing of the dye has occurred, and there is a potential error in the measurement due to the distribution of albumin in the extracellular space in sick infants resulting in an overestimation of the plasma volume. Proposals for reducing sources of errors are discussed.

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