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LEAPChem Highlights Dextran (9004-54-0)!

Nov. 2018/3/6 14:38:48 By LEAP Chem

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Basic Information of Dextran

Chemical Name: Dextran

Cas No.: 9004-54-0

Molecular Formula: H(C6H10O5)xOH

Chemical Structure:



Dextran is a complex branched glucan (polysaccharide made of many glucose molecules) composed of chains of varying lengths (from 3 to 2000 kilodaltons). The straight chain consists of α-1,6 glycosidic linkages between glucose molecules, while branches begin from α-1,3 linkages. This characteristic branching distinguishes a dextran from a dextrin, which is a straight chain glucose polymer tethered by α-1,4 or α-1,6 linkages.

Medicinally it is used as an antithrombotic (antiplatelet), to reduce blood viscosity, and as a volume expander in hypovolaemia. Dextran 70 is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a health system.

These agents are used commonly by microsurgeons to decrease vascular thrombosis. The antithrombotic effect of dextran is mediated through its binding of erythrocytes, platelets, and vascular endothelium, increasing their electronegativity and thus reducing erythrocyte aggregation and platelet adhesiveness. Dextrans also reduce factor VIII-Ag Von Willebrand factor, thereby decreasing platelet function. Clots formed after administration of dextrans are more easily lysed due to an altered thrombus structure (more evenly distributed platelets with coarser fibrin. By inhibiting α-2 antiplasmin, dextran serves as a plasminogen activator, so possesses thrombolytic features.

Although relatively few side effects are associated with dextran use, these side effects can be very serious. These include anaphylaxis, volume overload, pulmonary edema, cerebral edema, or platelet dysfunction. An uncommon but significant complication of dextran osmotic effect is acute renal failure. The pathogenesis of this renal failure is the subject of many debates with direct toxic effect on tubules and glomerulus versus intraluminal hyperviscosity being some of the proposed mechanisms. Patients with history of diabetes mellitus, renal insufficiency, or vascular disorders are most at risk. Brooks and others recommend the avoidance of dextran therapy in patients with chronic renal insufficiency.


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