Blood volume

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Blood volume is the volume of blood (both red blood cells and plasma) in the circulatory system of any individual.


A typical adult has a blood volume of approximately 5 liters, with females generally having less blood volume than males.[1] Blood volume is regulated by the kidneys.

Blood volume (BV) can be calculated given the hematocrit (HC; the fraction of blood that is red blood cells) and plasma volume (PV):

BV = \frac{PV}{1-HC}

Blood volume measurement may be used in people with congestive heart failure, chronic hypertension, renal failure and critical care.

The use of relative blood volume changes during dialysis is of questionable utility.[2]

Total Blood Volume can be measured manually via the Dual Isotope or Dual Tracer Technique, a classic technique, available since the 1950's.[3] This technique requires double labeling of the blood; that is 2 injections and 2 standards (51Cr-RBC for tagging red blood cells and I-HAS for tagging plasma volume)as well as withdrawing and re-infusing patients with their own blood for blood volume analysis results. This method may take up to 6 hours for accurate results.

Blood Volume may also be measured semi-automatically in under one hour by the BVA-100 (FDA approved), reporting Total Blood Volume (TBV), Plasma Volume (PV) and Red Cell Volume (RCV) using the indicator dilution principle, microhematocrit centrifugation and the Ideal Height and Weight Method.[3] The indicator or tracer, is an I-131 albumin injection. An equal amount of the tracer is injected into a known and unknown volume. Clinically, the unknown volume is the patient’s blood volume, with the tracer having been injected into the patient’s blood stream and tagged to the blood plasma. Once the tracer is injected a technician takes five blood samples which undergo microhematocrit centrifugation to extrapolate true blood volume at time 0. The concentration of the I-131in the blood is determined from the blood radioactivity against the standard which has a known I-131 dilution in a known volume. The unknown volume is inversely proportional to the concentration of the indicator in the known volume; the larger the unknown volume, the lower the tracer concentration, thus the unknown volume can be calculated. The microhematocrit data along with the I-131 indicator data provide a normalized hematocrit number, more accurate than hematocrit or peripheral hematocrit measurements.[4] Measurements are taken 5 times in 6 minute intervals so that the BVA-100 can calculate the albumin transudation time to understand the flux of liquid through capillary membranes.

Other animals[edit]

Animal Blood volume
Cat 55 (47-66)
Cow 55 (52-57)[6]
Dog 86 (79-90)
Ferret 75
Gerbil 67
Goat 70
Guinea pig 75 (67-92)
Hamster 78
Horse 76
Human 77
Monkey (rhesus) 54
Mouse 79 (78-80)
Pig 65
Rabbit 56 (44-70)
Rat 64 (50-70)
Sheep 60
Marmoset 60-70[7]

The table at right shows circulating blood volumes, given as volume per kilogram, for healthy adults and some animals.[5] However, it can be 15% less in obese and old animals.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Lan Na (1998). "Volume of Blood in a Human". The Physics Factbook. 
  2. ^ Dasselaar, JJ; van der Sande, FM; Franssen, CF (2012). "Critical evaluation of blood volume measurements during hemodialysis.". Blood purification 33 (1-3): 177–82. PMID 22269777. 
  3. ^ a b Yu, Mihae (2011). "A Prospective Randomized Trial Using Blood Volume Analysis in Addition to Pumonary Artery Catheter, Compared with Pulmonary Catheter Alone, to Guide Shock Resuscitation in Critically Ill Surgical Patients". Shock 35 (3): 220–228. 
  4. ^ Park, Junki; Puri, Sonika; Mattoo, Aditya; Modersitzki, Frank; Goldfarb, David (2012). "Radioisotope Blood Volume Measurement in Hemodialysis Patients". American Society of Nephrology. 
  5. ^ a b c A Compendium of Drugs Used for Laboratory Animal Anesthesia, Analgesia, Tranquilization and Restraint at Drexel University College of Medicine. Retrieved April 2011
  6. ^ Reynolds, Monica ; Plasma and Blood Volume in the Cow Using the T-1824 Hematocrit Method American Journal of Physiology - June 1953 vol. 173 no. 3 421-427
  7. ^ Wolfensohn & Lloyd, 2003, Handbook of Laboratory Animal Management and Welfare, 3rd Edition

External links[edit]