Effects of capillary refill time-vs. lactate-targeted fluid resuscitation on regional, microcirculatory and hypoxia-related perfusion parameters in septic shock: a randomized controlled trial

Ricardo Castro, Eduardo Kattan, Giorgio Ferri, Ronald Pairumani, Emilio Daniel Valenzuela, Leyla Alegría, Vanessa Oviedo, Nicolás Pavez, Dagoberto Soto, Magdalena Vera, César Santis, Brusela Astudillo, María Alicia Cid, Sebastian Bravo, Gustavo Ospina-Tascón, Jan Bakker, Glenn Hernández
Annals of Intensive Care 2020 November 2, 10 (1): 150

BACKGROUND: Persistent hyperlactatemia has been considered as a signal of tissue hypoperfusion in septic shock patients, but multiple non-hypoperfusion-related pathogenic mechanisms could be involved. Therefore, pursuing lactate normalization may lead to the risk of fluid overload. Peripheral perfusion, assessed by the capillary refill time (CRT), could be an effective alternative resuscitation target as recently demonstrated by the ANDROMEDA-SHOCK trial. We designed the present randomized controlled trial to address the impact of a CRT-targeted (CRT-T) vs. a lactate-targeted (LAC-T) fluid resuscitation strategy on fluid balances within 24 h of septic shock diagnosis. In addition, we compared the effects of both strategies on organ dysfunction, regional and microcirculatory flow, and tissue hypoxia surrogates.

RESULTS: Forty-two fluid-responsive septic shock patients were randomized into CRT-T or LAC-T groups. Fluids were administered until target achievement during the 6 h intervention period, or until safety criteria were met. CRT-T was aimed at CRT normalization (≤ 3 s), whereas in LAC-T the goal was lactate normalization (≤ 2 mmol/L) or a 20% decrease every 2 h. Multimodal perfusion monitoring included sublingual microcirculatory assessment; plasma-disappearance rate of indocyanine green; muscle oxygen saturation; central venous-arterial pCO2 gradient/ arterial-venous O2 content difference ratio; and lactate/pyruvate ratio. There was no difference between CRT-T vs. LAC-T in 6 h-fluid boluses (875 [375-2625] vs. 1500 [1000-2000], p = 0.3), or balances (982[249-2833] vs. 15,800 [740-6587, p = 0.2]). CRT-T was associated with a higher achievement of the predefined perfusion target (62 vs. 24, p = 0.03). No significant differences in perfusion-related variables or hypoxia surrogates were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: CRT-targeted fluid resuscitation was not superior to a lactate-targeted one on fluid administration or balances. However, it was associated with comparable effects on regional and microcirculatory flow parameters and hypoxia surrogates, and a faster achievement of the predefined resuscitation target. Our data suggest that stopping fluids in patients with CRT ≤ 3 s appears as safe in terms of tissue perfusion. Clinical Trials: Identifier: NCT03762005 (Retrospectively registered on December 3rd 2018).

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