Journal Article
Observational Study
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Early and prolonged continuous hypertonic saline infusion in patients with acute liver failure.

PURPOSE: To study patient characteristics, physiological changes, and outcomes associated with prolonged continuous hypertonic saline (HTS) infusion in acute liver failure (ALF).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort study of adult patients with ALF. We collected clinical, biochemical, and physiological data six hourly for the first week, daily until day 30 or hospital discharge, and weekly, when documented, until day 180.

RESULTS: Of 127 patients, 85 received continuous HTS. Compared with non-HTS patients they were more likely to receive continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) (p < 0.001) and mechanical ventilation (p < 0.001). Median HTS duration was 150 (Interquartile range (IQR): 84-168) hours, delivering a median 2244 (IQR: 979-4610) mmol sodium load. Median peak sodium concentration was 149 mmol/L vs 138 mmol/L in non-HTS patients (p < 0.001). The median rate of sodium increase with infusion was 0.1 mmol/L/h and median rate of decrease during weaning was 0.1 mmol/L every 6 h. Median lowest pH value was 7.29 vs. 7.35 in non-HTS patients. Survival of HTS patients was 72.9% overall and 72.2% without transplantation.

CONCLUSIONS: In ALF patients, the prolonged administration of HTS infusion was not associated with severe hypernatremia or rapid shifts in serum sodium upon commencement, delivery, or weaning.

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