What is the starting point for blood volume analysis?
A blood volume analysis can be relevant for a large number of reasons. Blood volume analysis may form the basis for the evaluation of a disease or in order to track the progression of the training efforts of a high performance athlete.
The starting point of the blood volume analysis is that the patient or athlete performs a blood volume test from which the relevant blood volume information is derived. Test results includes information such as total blood volume, plasma volume or haemoglobin mass.
Why is blood volume analysis needed?
Diseases such as acute heart failure, kidney disease, POTS or other circulatory problems may severely affect blood volume. Patients in intensive care may suffer from acute blood loss but the quantitative and exact information about the actual blood volume and the components of the blood is typically not readily available.
In such situations, a blood volume measurement can provide input to a medical doctor in a more complete analysis of the blood volume and in an evaluation of conditions such as anaemia, sepsis, shock, hypertension or hypotension. The outcome of the blood volume analysis will help the medical doctor make an informed decision on how to proceed with treatment.
Blood volume analysis in athletic performance
Not all athletes respond equally well to various kinds of training interventions. Some respond well to altitude training while others show no or little benefit. The CO re-breathing blood volume test has been used with athletes for many years to help evaluate how trainers and coaches gain the most benefit from the investment in training camps and on how to optimise and individualise training plans. In todays sports competition, gaining even small percentages of optimised output can often be what separates the olympic gold medalist from the rest.