What is being measured in a blood volume test?
A blood volume test is a clinical procedure used to measure the total volume of blood within the body. The test may also be used just to determine the volume of plasma or of red cells in the blood and therefore also be known as a plasma volume test or a red cell volume test.
In the clinical setting, the test may also be referred to as an assessment of intravascular volume status. In the clinical setting, the test may also be referred to as an assessment of intravascular volume status. The assessment of blood volume may provide critical information in the treatment of patients in intensive care as well as for the treatment of heart failure and kidney disease.
Why perform a blood volume test?
The blood volume test results help the medical doctor determine the cause of symptoms such as hypovolemia, hypervolemia or polycythemia.
The test results from the blood volume test help the planning of an efficient blood volume-guided treatment. In acute heart failure and kidney disease the quantification of blood volume is documented to provide a superior clinical disease assessment and to decrease mortality rate in heart failure if treatment is based on blood volume status. The blood volume test is also critical to distinguish true anemia from dilutional anemia.
Performing a blood volume test using CO rebreathing
While quantifying blood volume using traditional radioactive methods can easily take 2-4 hours, the standard CO re-breathing blood volume test can be completed in less than 15 minutes with the same accuracy and requires only a capillary blood sample (venous or arterial blood may also be used).
In a clinical setting, the use of the Detalo Blood Volume Analyzer does not require additional specialized equipment or specialist personnel. The only requirements in addition to the Detalo Blood Volume Device are the ability to perform simple blood sampling and the analysis of %HbCO, either by means of a standard blood gas analyzer or other clinical hematological analyzers.