Indications

Female Doctor standing in Front of her team

The BVA-100 is an FDA-approved diagnostic instrument with an approved indication to

  • measure a patient’s blood volume
  • calculate an ideal blood volume that the patient should have
  • indicate hypovolemia or hypervolemia with statistics showing the quality of results

Several patents protect our unique technology.

The following is a partial list of medical & surgical conditions where blood volume abnormalities can occur.

Acute blood loss during surgery or trauma
Four million patients receive blood transfusions annually. The standard surrogate tests measure the thickness of the blood and not the actual blood volume a patient has. In this case, a patient may receive an unnecessary transfusion. A much more common problem, however, is that a transfusion may be withheld because the extent of blood loss has not been recognized. Complications of severe organ damage may occur from untreated and unrecognized low blood volume. A significant number of patients with no kidney disease may develop kidney failure as a complication of inadequate or delayed transfusion. Without an accurate true measure of blood volume, physicians are faced with a difficult choice of administering a transfusion that may cause infection or other complications, or withholding a transfusion from a patient who may suffer significant complications such as kidney damage or a thrombotic event from low blood volume.

In many cases, a simple measure of blood volume would give physicians the proper and accurate data to treat their patients. To learn how doctors are using the BVA-100 to treat their patients in the ICU, please review our clinical studies.

Red Cell Mass
The red cell mass is a test that is requested by hematologists to measure the amount of red blood cells that are in a patient. This is a crucial test to determine the health status of a patient that is going through chemotherapy. The original method of performing this test used a complicated and time-consuming test based on a using a specific type of chromium isotope called Cr51. Physicians have been put at a disadvantage because this specific chromium has been taken off the market, hence prohibiting them from performing this type of test to help their patients.

Fortunately the BVA-100 machine enables physicians to once again be able to perform this type of test on their patients to accurately assess their red cell status.

Hypertension
There are more than 50 million Americans with hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure). Seventy percent are reported to be inadequately treated. Hypertension is caused by one of two variables: excess blood volume or excess vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction is an excessive tightening of the blood vessels. Hypertension is treated with two types of medications – vasodilators, which relax the blood vessels, or diuretics, which cause the kidney to lose fluid and decrease blood volume. Presently, neither variable is measured.

Without an accurate reading of blood volume, treating high blood pressure is a trial & error process of choosing from more than fifty drugs currently approved for hypertension therapy. Some patients with hypertension have expanded blood volume (i.e., hypervolemia) and should be given diuretics. However, some hypertensive patients may actually have a decreased blood volume. Giving such a patient a diuretic decreases the blood flow to the kidney, and may cause damage. The kidneys are particularly susceptible to decreased blood flow problems, with complete renal failure being a dreaded complication of hypertension.

Syncope
Syncope is a condition of fainting or sudden total loss of consciousness. The Cleveland Clinic, which has the number one Cardiovascular Department in the United States, is now routinely measuring blood volume with the BVA-100 in its Syncope Department. A blood volume measurement can help define the problem so that proper treatment may be provided. Syncope can be caused by fundamentally different problems. A blood volume measurement is essential to help define whether the problem is caused by low blood volume. The availability of blood volume measurements provides an essential tool for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic hypertension is a condition whereby a sharp drop in blood pressure occurs when an individual arises from a sitting or lying position. Reports have indicated that one third of elderly patients have this condition. Orthosatic hypotension may be associated with low blood volume or disturbances in blood pressure control. Some patients may experience syncope, or a total loss of consciousness. Patients who have orthostatic hypotension have an increased chance of falling, which predisposes them to a hip fracture. Blood volume measurements can lead to effective preventive therapy.
Congestive Heart Failure
Five million patients are treated annually for congestive heart failure. This condition is usually associated with an expanded blood volume. The American College of Cardiology’s guidelines state that blood volume should be assessed during patient examinations to aid in the treatment toward normalizing a patient’s blood volume. Overtreatment can be just as damaging as undertreatment.  A compelling published study by Stuart Katz of NYU Medical Center shows significant survival for patients treated to a normal blood volume as measured by the BVA-100.

The Heart Failure Center at Presbyterian New York Hospital is utilizing a BVA-100. Specific case studies may also be found in our website showing treatment of CHF with therapy guided by results from the BVA-100.

Septic Shock & Hypovolemia
More than 100,000 patients die annually from septic shock. Of the patients suffering from this condition, 45-70% of them die. This is a condition where there is a collapse of blood pressure and unless quickly reversed, results in a high mortality rate. The Lutheran Medical Center recently reported a significantly lower death rate in patients with septic shock when the BVA-100 was used for treatment decisions to detect low blood volume.

An additional study by Dr. Mihae Yu of Queens Medical Center in Hawaii confirmed significant survival benefit in ICU patients with Sepsis through a reduction in patient mortality rates from 24% to 8% when therapeutic decisions were guided by a protocol of blood volume measurement utilizing the BVA-100. You can download Dr. Mihae Yu’s study.

Anemia in cancer patients or HIV positive patients on chemotherapy
Such patients commonly develop decreased red blood cell production and symptoms. Standard tests, such as the Hematocrit, may not reveal the full extent or severity of the problem. A blood volume measurement can provide specific information about the extent of red cell depletion. Epogen and Procrit are accepted treatments for red cell depletion.
Renal or kidney failure
There are 500,000 patients in kidney failure, with over 250,000 on renal dialysis treatments. Patients on renal dialysis treatment have major changes in their blood volume during their treatment (reference). These patients also suffer from severe anemia requiring injections to stimulate their blood production. Such patients have a 41% mortality rate from an initial heart attack. Blood volume measurement in such patients can provide essential information for patient care, to avoid complications.
Preoperative screening for low blood volume
With regard to avoiding blood transfusions for hypovolemia with particular emphasis on women, women have been shown to require more transfusions and have a higher incidence of complications from cardiac bypass surgery. By utilizing a Blood Volume Analyzer it is possible to screen both men and women pre-operatively for low blood volume in elective surgical situations. Patients found to have low blood volume can be treated with medication to build up their blood volume to normal levels prior to surgery. Patients who have a normal blood volume at the onset of surgery are less likely to require transfusion and less likely to have inadequate blood flow to the brain. Avoidance of brain damage should be a central focus of all surgical planning.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
One million Americans are reported to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Low blood volume has been reported as a factor in this condition. Preliminary studies have shown that some patients with this condition do have low blood volume and can benefit from treatment. A blood volume measurement can help distinguish these patients from patients whose symptoms are unrelated to blood volume abnormalities.