The endothelial glycocalyx plays an essential role in many physiological functions and is damaged after hemorrhage. Fluid resuscitation may further change the glycocalyx after an initial hemorrhage-induced degradation. Plasma levels of syndecan-1 and heparan sulfate have been used as indirect markers for glycocalyx degradation, but the extent to which these measures are representative of the events in the microcirculation is unknown. Using hemorrhage and a wide range of resuscitation fluids, we studied quantitatively the relationship between plasma biomarkers and changes in microvascular parameters, including glycocalyx thickness. Rats were bled 40% of total blood volume and resuscitated with seven different fluids (fresh whole blood, blood products, and crystalloids). Intravital microscopy was used to estimate glycocalyx thickness in >270 postcapillary venules from 58 cremaster preparations in 9 animal groups; other microvascular parameters were measured using noninvasive techniques. Systemic physiological parameters and blood chemistry were simultaneously collected. Changes in glycocalyx thickness were negatively correlated with changes in plasma levels of syndecan-1 (r = −0.937) and heparan sulfate (r = −0.864). Changes in microvascular permeability were positively correlated with changes in both plasma biomarkers (r = 0.8, P < 0.05). Syndecan-1 and heparan sulfate were also positively correlated (r = 0.7, P < 0.05). Except for diameter and permeability, changes in local microcirculatory parameters (red blood cell velocity, blood flow, and wall shear rate) did not correlate with plasma biomarkers or glycocalyx thickness changes. This work provides a quantitative framework supporting plasma syndecan-1 and heparan sulfate as valuable clinical biomarkers of glycocalyx shedding that may be useful in guiding resuscitation strategies following hemorrhage.
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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