Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Do bicarbonate-based solutions for continuous renal replacement therapy offer better control of metabolic acidosis than lactate-containing fluids?

INTRODUCTION: Evidence that bicarbonate haemofiltration and dialysate fluids are superior to lactate in patients with acute kidney injury treated by continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) remains controversial.

METHODS: We prospectively audited acid-base during the first 48 h of CRRT in 62 patients, using bicarbonate and lactate fluids.

RESULTS: Baseline lactate was greater in the bicarbonate group (4.76 ± 0.77 vs. 2.92 ± 0.5 mmol/l, p < 0.01), but pH, bicarbonate, chloride and base excess were similar. Lactate fell significantly in the bicarbonate group to 2.88 ± 0.3 mmol/l at 24 h and 2.39 ± 0.2 mmol/l at 48 h, but not in the lactate group. Base excess improved more with bicarbonate, median increase in the first 24 h was 51.6% (29.1-96.9) versus 18.5% (-5 to 55) with lactate and 74.2% (38.5-123) versus 36.1% (-3.6 to 68), p < 0.05 at 48 h. However, there were no significant differences in bicarbonate, chloride, pH, blood pressure and vasopressor requirements. 13.3% of patients were switched from lactate to bicarbonate fluids due to failure to correct acidosis. Subgroup analysis of 19 patients with liver failure showed similar results.

CONCLUSION: Bicarbonate fluids led to a more rapid fall in lactate and greater improvement in base excess during CRRT, but not overall control of acidosis.

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