Hydroxyethyl Starch or Saline for Fluid Resuscitation in Intensive Care

and Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand (C.M., S.M.).
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 10/2012; 367(20). DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1209759
Source: PubMed


The safety and efficacy of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) for fluid resuscitation have not been fully evaluated, and adverse effects of HES on survival and renal function have been reported.

We randomly assigned 7000 patients who had been admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) in a 1:1 ratio to receive either 6% HES with a molecular weight of 130 kD and a molar substitution ratio of 0.4 (130/0.4, Voluven) in 0.9% sodium chloride or 0.9% sodium chloride (saline) for all fluid resuscitation until ICU discharge, death, or 90 days after randomization. The primary outcome was death within 90 days. Secondary outcomes included acute kidney injury and failure and treatment with renal-replacement therapy.

A total of 597 of 3315 patients (18.0%) in the HES group and 566 of 3336 (17.0%) in the saline group died (relative risk in the HES group, 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96 to 1.18; P=0.26). There was no significant difference in mortality in six predefined subgroups. Renal-replacement therapy was used in 235 of 3352 patients (7.0%) in the HES group and 196 of 3375 (5.8%) in the saline group (relative risk, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.45; P=0.04). In the HES and saline groups, renal injury occurred in 34.6% and 38.0% of patients, respectively (P=0.005), and renal failure occurred in 10.4% and 9.2% of patients, respectively (P=0.12). HES was associated with significantly more adverse events (5.3% vs. 2.8%, P<0.001).

In patients in the ICU, there was no significant difference in 90-day mortality between patients resuscitated with 6% HES (130/0.4) or saline. However, more patients who received resuscitation with HES were treated with renal-replacement therapy. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others; CHEST number, NCT00935168.).

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    • "More broadly, initial studies pointed to potential benefits of goal-directed fluid resuscitation early in severe sepsis [14], whereas later aggressive fluid administration during established critical illness appears to be harmful [44-46]. Differences in the time of entry into clinical trials of fluid resuscitation may also explain differing messages about potential harm from colloids used for volume expansion [13,47]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Major surgery and critical illnesses such as sepsis and trauma all disturb normal physiological fluid handling. Intravenous fluid therapy for resuscitation and fluid maintenance is a central part of medical care during these conditions, yet the evidence base supporting practice in this area lacks answers to a number of important questions. Recent research developments include a refinement of our knowledge of the endothelial barrier structure and function and a focus on the potential harm that may be associated with intravenous fluid therapy. Here, we briefly describe the contemporary view of fluid physiology and how this may be disrupted by pathological processes. The important themes in critical illness fluid research are discussed, with a particular focus on two emerging ideas: firstly, that individualising fluid treatment to the patient, their underlying disease state and the phase of that illness may be key to improving clinical outcomes using fluid interventions and, secondly, that fluids should be considered to be drugs, with specific indications and contraindications, dose ranges and potential toxicities.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
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    • "In the recent Crystalloid versus Hydroxyethyl starch Trial (CHEST), the effect of fluid resuscitation with HES (130/0.4) was compared with 0.9% saline among 7000 patients admitted to an intensive care unit [61]. The study found no difference in 90 day mortality between the groups; however, patients receiving HES required renal replacement therapy more frequently (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.00–1.45, "
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    ABSTRACT: Sepsis results in widespread inflammatory responses altering homeostasis. Associated circulatory abnormalities (peripheral vasodilation, intravascular volume depletion, increased cellular metabolism, and myocardial depression) lead to an imbalance between oxygen delivery and demand, triggering end organ injury and failure. Fluid resuscitation is a key part of treatment, but there is little agreement on choice, amount, and end points for fluid resuscitation. Over the past few years, the safety of some fluid preparations has been questioned. Our paper highlights current concerns, reviews the science behind current practices, and aims to clarify some of the controversies surrounding fluid resuscitation in sepsis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BioMed Research International
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    • "Volume replacement strategies in cardiac surgery have changed during the last years, reflecting increasing doubt about the efficacy and safety of HES solutions [14]. Large-scale clinical trials found that also “modern” third generation HES solutions increased need for renal replacement therapy (RRT) and transfusion of allogeneic blood products in critically ill patients and patients with sepsis, and increased 90-day mortality in patients with sepsis [10], [11]. A large observational study with over 6000 patients found increased need for RRT among patients undergoing cardiac surgery who received either HES or gelatin compared to crystalloids [29]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Management of cardiac surgery patients is a very standardized procedure in respective local institutions. Yet only very limited evidence exists concerning optimal indication, safety and efficacy of hemodynamic monitoring catecholamine and fluid therapy. Methods Between April and May 2013, all 81 German anaesthesia departments involved in cardiac surgery care were asked to participate in a questionnaire addressing the institutional specific current practice in hemodynamic monitoring, catecholamine and volume therapy. Results 51 (63%) questionnaires were completed and returned. All participating centers used basic hemodynamic monitoring (i.e. invasive arterial blood pressure and central venous pressure), supplemented by transesophageal echocardiography. Pulmonary arterial catheter and calibrated trend monitoring devices were also routinely available. In contrast, non-calibrated trend monitoring and esophageal doppler ultrasound devices were not commonly in use. Cerebral oximetry is increasingly emerging, but lacks clear indications. The majority of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, especially in university hospitals, required catecholamines during perioperative care, In case of low cardiac output syndrome, dobutamine (32%), epinephrine (30%) or phosphodiesterase inhibitors (8%) were first choice. In case of hypotension following vasoplegia, norepinephrine (96%) represented the most common catecholamine. 88% of the participating centers reported regular use of colloid fluids, with hydroxyethyl starches (HES) being first choice (64%). Conclusions Choice of hemodynamic monitoring is homogenous throughout German centers treating cardiac surgery patients. Norepinephrine is the first line catecholamine in cases of decrease in peripheral vascular resistance. However, catecholamine choice for low cardiac output syndrome varies considerably. HES was the primary colloid used for fluid resuscitation. After conduct of this survey, HES use was restricted by European regulatory authorities in critically ill patients and should only be considered as second-line fluid in surgical patients without renal impairment or severe coagulopathy. Large clinical studies addressing catecholamine and fluid therapy in cardiac surgery patients are lacking.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE
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