There is considerable controversy about the effects of the intravenous administration of dextran 40 (dextran of average molecular weight, 40,000) on the rheologic properties of blood. The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of dextran 40 on blood flow in the intact extremity and on blood volume and to correlate any changes in these two parameters with known concentrations of circulating dextran 40.
Fifteen healthy mongrel dogs, weighing 18 to 27 kg (39.6 to 59.4 lb) were anesthetized intravenously with a 2.5% solution of thiopental sodium. The right external jugular vein and both femoral arteries were exposed. Aortic blood pressure was monitored by a polyethylene catheter inserted into the left femoral artery and passed to the level of the aortic arch and was recorded with a strain gauge on a multichannel electronic recorder. Central venous pressure was measured on a manometer connected to a catheter passed