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Fresenius SE

Drug Names(s): hetastarch 130/0.4, HES 130/0.4, hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4

Description: Voluven contains 6% hydroxyethyl starch in a colloidal 0.9% sodium chloride solution. It expands plasma volume when administered intravenously.

Hydroxyethyl starch is a derivative of thin boiling waxy corn starch. Substitution of hydroxyethyl groups on the glucose units of the polymer reduces the normal degradation by alpha-amylase in the body. The low molar substitution (0.4, or 40 hydroxyethyl groups for every 100 glucose units) is the main pharmacological determinant for the beneficial effects of Voluven on pharmacokinetics, intravascular volume and hemodilution. To describe the molecular weight and molar substitution characteristics of the hydroxyethyl starch in Voluven, the compound is designated as hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 (the mean molecular weight is 130,000 daltons).

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