Biostatistics Weekly Seminar

Balanced Crystalloids vs Saline: Transforming the ICU into a Learning Healthcare System

Matthew Semler, MD,MSCI
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

BACKGROUND Both balanced crystalloids and saline are used for intravenous fluid administration in critically ill adults, but it is not known which results in better clinical outcomes.

METHODS In a pragmatic, cluster-randomized, multiple-crossover trial conducted in five intensive care units at an academic center, we assigned 15,802 adults to receive saline (0.9% sodium chloride) or balanced crystalloids (lactated Ringer’s solution or Plasma-Lyte A) according to the randomization of the unit to which they were admitted. The primary outcome was a major adverse kidney event within 30 days — a composite of death from any cause, new renal-replacement therapy, or persistent renal dysfunction (defined as an elevation of the creatinine level to ≥200% of baseline) — all censored at hospital discharge or 30 days, whichever occurred first.

RESULTS Among the 7942 patients in the balanced-crystalloids group, 1139 (14.3%) had a major adverse kidney event, as compared with 1211 of 7860 patients (15.4%) in the saline group (marginal odds ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84 to 0.99; conditional odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.82 to 0.99; P = 0.04). In-hospital mortality at 30 days was 10.3% in the balanced-crystalloids group and 11.1% in the saline group (P = 0.06). The incidence of new renal-replacement therapy was 2.5% and 2.9%, respectively (P = 0.08), and the incidence of persistent renal dysfunction was 6.4% and 6.6%, respectively (P = 0.60).

CONCLUSIONS Among critically ill adults, the use of balanced crystalloids for intravenous fluid administration resulted in a lower rate of the composite outcome of death from any cause, new renal-replacement therapy, or persistent renal dysfunction than the use of saline.

MRBIII, Room 1220
13 March 2019

Speaker Itinerary

Topic revision: r3 - 11 Mar 2019, SrKrueger

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