BACKGROUND: We previously reported that bovine polymerized hemoglobin (HBOC- 201) improved outcome in swine with hemorrhagic shock (HS) with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI). Herein, we add analyses of blood pressure (BP) responses, associated physiologic data, and HS fluid infusion guidelines. METHODS: HBOC-201 versus standard fluid resuscitation was compared in four anesthetized invasively monitored swine models: moderate controlled HS, severe controlled HS, severe uncontrolled HS (liver injury), and severe uncontrolled HS/TBI (liver/parietal brain injuries). Pigs received fluid for hypotension and tachycardia, and were followed up to 6 (HS alone) or 72 hours (HS/TBI). The change in mean arterial pressure (ΔMAP) response severity was stratified and analyzed based on infusion number and HS severity, using Student's t and Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: HBOC-201 vasoactivity resulted in higher MAP in all studies. Among HBOC-201 pigs, ΔMAP responses were significant for the first two infusions and inversely related to HS severity. Among controls, ΔMAP responses remained significant through the fourth infusion in controlled HS models, and through the first in severe uncontrolled HS/TBI; none were significant in severe uncontrolled HS. ΔMAP was higher with HBOC-201 through the first infusion in moderate controlled HS, the fifth in severe uncontrolled HS, and the second in severe uncontrolled HS/TBI; there were no group differences in severe controlled HS. No severe MAP responses occurred. Higher ΔMAP severity did not impact outcome. Hypotension satisfied fluid reinfusion criteria less consistently than tachycardia. Overall, HBOC-201 improved physiologic parameters and survival without causing hypoperfusion; in severe HS, perfusion improved. CONCLUSIONS: In swine with HS ± TBI, HBOC-201 had mild to moderate vasoactivity, resulting in significant ΔMAP responses mainly after initial infusions, no severe/adverse responses, and improved outcome. Our data suggest that use of physiologic parameters (e.g., tachycardia), in addition to hypotension to guide fluid reinfusion during HS resuscitation with HBOC-201, will minimize hypoperfusion risk and maximize potential benefit. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.