Poloxamer 188, (Pluronic F68), a nonionic surface active agent, was investigated for its effect on blood viscosity. Ten dogs were given poloxamer 188 prior to, during, and after one hour of total cardiopulmonary bypass. Viscosity measurements were compared in control and treated animals perfused for 6 and 12 hours. Six dogs received repeated intravenous injections of poloxamer 188; and in vitro studies were also performed.
In all groups, administration of this agent was found to lower blood viscosity, without affecting hemodilution. However, the combination of hemodilution coupled with repeated hourly doses of poloxamer 188 caused the greatest and statistically most significant reduction of viscosity.
The addition of poloxamer 188 to perfusion systems is advocated, and further investigation into its antisludging properties, mechanisms of action, and its future use in diseases characterized by high blood viscosity is encouraged.