Article

A comparison of 5% dextrose in 0.9% normal saline versus non-dextrose-containing crystalloids as the initial intravenous replacement fluid in elective surgery.

Department of Anaesthesia, Singapore General Hospital.
Anaesthesia and intensive care (Impact Factor: 1.47). 10/2006; 34(5):613-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intravenous fluid replacement in adult elective surgery is often initiated with dextrose-containing fluids. We sought to determine if this practice resulted in significant hyperglycaemia and if there was a risk of hypoglycaemia if non-dextrose-containing crystalloids were used instead. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in 50 non-diabetic adult patients undergoing elective surgery which did not involve entry into major body cavities, large fluid shifts, or require administration of >500 ml of intravenous fluid in the first two hours of peri-operative care. Patients received 500 ml of either 5% dextrose in 0.9% normal saline, lactated Ringer's solution, or 0.9% normal saline over 45 to 60 minutes. Plasma glucose, electrolytes and osmolarity were measured prior to infusion, and at 15 minutes and one hour after completion of infusion. None of the patients had preoperative hypoglycaemia despite average fasting times of almost 13 hours. Patients receiving lactated Ringer's and normal saline remained normoglycaemic throughout the study period. Patients receiving dextrose saline had significantly elevated plasma glucose 15 minutes after completion of infusion (11.1 (9.9-12.2, 95% CI) mmol/l). Plasma glucose exceeded 10 mmol/l in 72% of patients receiving dextrose saline. There was no significant difference in plasma glucose between the groups at one hour after infusion, but 33% of patients receiving DS had plasma glucose > or = 8 mmol/l. We conclude that initiation of intravenous fluid replacement with dextrose-containing solutions is not required to prevent hypoglycaemia in elective surgery. On the contrary, a relatively small volume of 500 ml causes significant, albeit transient, hyperglycaemia, even in non-diabetic patients.

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