Potential uses of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers in critical care medicine.

Critical care clinics

PubMedID: 19341911

Creteur J, Vincent JL. Potential uses of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers in critical care medicine. Crit Care Clin. 2009;25(2):311-24, Table of Contents.
Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) were initially developed to provide an alternative to blood transfusion. With the realization that hemoglobin solutions not only are red blood cell substitutes but also have a number of additional properties, including hemodynamic effects related to their oncotic and nitric oxide-scavenging effects, the broader concept of "hemoglobin therapeutics" was born. Promising effects on oxygen transport and the microcirculation need to be confirmed, and the results of studies with newer, second-generation HBOCs are eagerly awaited. In the meantime, possible adverse effects need to be carefully evaluated before HBOCs can be widely used in the ICU, emergency room, or prehospital setting.