Hypotonic versus isotonic maintenance fluids in critically ill children: a multicenter prospective randomized study

Corsino Rey, Marta Los-Arcos, Arturo Hernández, Amelia Sánchez, Juan-José Díaz, Jesús López-Herce
Acta Paediatrica 2011, 100 (8): 1138-43

AIM: Study the influence of hypotonic (HT) and isotonic (IT) maintenance fluids in the incidence of dysnatraemias in critically ill children.

METHODS: Prospective, randomized study conducted in three paediatric intensive care units (PICU). One hundred and twenty-five children requiring maintenance fluid therapy were included: 62 received HT fluids (50-70 mmol/L tonicity) and 63 IT fluids (156 mmol/L tonicity). Age, weight, cause of admission, sodium and fluid intake, and diuresis were collected. Blood electrolytes were measured on admission, 12 and 24 h later.

RESULTS: Blood sodium levels at 12 h were 133.7±2.7 mmol/L in HT group vs. 136.8±3.5 mmol/L in IT group (p=0.001). Adjusted for age, weight and sodium level at PICU admission, the blood sodium values of patients receiving HT fluids decrease by 3.22 mmol/L (CI: 4.29/2.15)(p=0.000). Adjusted for age, weight and hyponatraemia incidence at admission, patients receiving HT fluids increased the risk of hyponatraemia by 5.8-fold (CI: 2.4-14.0) during the study period (p=0.000).

CONCLUSIONS: Hypotonic maintenance fluids increase the incidence of hyponatraemia because they decrease blood sodium levels in normonatraemic patients. IT maintenance fluids do not increase the incidence of dysnatraemias and should be considered as the standard maintenance fluids.

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