The Publication Digests section of the Knowledge Centre is an area dedicated to providing analysis and commentary of related published literature. Recent publications will be reviewed and distilled into key learning points which you can access below.
The choice of fluid administered during cardiac surgery remains a debated topic, often focussed around colloid solutions containing albumin. Conflicting results from numerous studies have left questions over albumin safety and potential to be superior to crystalloids during surgery. Kingeter et al. hoped to achieve clarity on this controversial topic in a retrospective study of cardiac surgery outcomes over a 12-year period.
Patients admitted to intensive care are often haemodynamically unstable with fluid resuscitation therapy regularly used to overcome this. The use of small volume resuscitation with 20% albumin has historically been limited compared to standard fluid resuscitation with 4–5% albumin due to safety concerns, but could those concerns be misplaced? Read more about how the SWIPE trial has provided new insights into the possibilities of using small volume resuscitation within the ICU.
Long-term albumin treatment for ascites associated with cirrhosis has been debated in recent years, with mixed results reported for the treatment’s efficacy. In this non-randomised prospective study, Di Pascoli and colleagues question the benefits of long-term albumin in patients with liver cirrhosis and refractory ascites, focussing on survival and emergent hospitalisations. Could this be part of the solution to the ongoing challenge of ascites in cirrhosis?
In 1896 Ernest Starling published his hypothesis for fluid exchange, whereby fluid exchange exists mainly in the capillaries through a process of plasma ultrafiltration across semipermeable membranes (Starling, 1896). But is this 19th century theory something of the past?
Cirrhosis of the liver is a leading cause of mortality. For patients with decompensated cirrhosis, long-term weekly human albumin administration can act as an effective disease-modifying treatment.
Guidelines to promote the early recovery of patients undergoing major surgery recommend a restrictive intravenous-fluid strategy for abdominal surgery. However, the supporting evidence is limited, and there is concern about impaired organ perfusion.
View an infographic of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) clinical practice guidelines on the management of decompensated cirrhosis.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) affects one-fifth of major surgery patients, increasing the risk of long-term mortality. This review paper discusses recent study data, discussing the best methods for preventing postoperative AKI.
In this post-hoc, subgroup analysis (study 1) and prospective, single-centre nested cohort (study 2) from the SPLIT (0.9% saline vs. PL-148 for ICU fluid therapy) trial, the investigators hypothesised that patients receiving Plasma-Lyte 148 would require fewer blood products and have less post-operative bleeding than those receiving saline.
The hypothesis that hypertonic fluid has a dual physiological role, increasing circulatory volume while administering minimal volumes and muting the pro-inflammatory response to injury and illness, may be appealing, but is it superior to isotonic fluids in practice?
Following the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) suspension of the marketing authorisations of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions across the European Union (EMA, 2018), Roberts et al., have written an open letter addressed to the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General seeking support for the suspension of HES solutions and expanding it to a worldwide ban.
The Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures (CMDh) endorse the suspension of hydroxyethyl-starch (HES) solutions, due to serious risks of kidney injury and death in certain patient populations.
A recent PRAC review has recommended suspension of marketing authorisations for HES solutions for infusion across the EU.
This position paper from the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver (AISF) and the Italian Society of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohaematology (SIMTI) reviews the evidence for the use of albumin in several settings related to liver cirrhosis.
This Chinese randomised controlled study explores the impact that a goal-directed fluid restriction (GDFR) protocol had on outcomes during anaesthesia for brain surgery.
This meta-analysis examines whether the dosing of albumin affects outcomes in type 1 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS).
This review article explores the relationship between low albumin levels and acute kidney injury (AKI).
This study explored fluid prescribing practices in intensive care – providing a picture of how fluid resuscitation is being managed internationally.
This meta-analysis pooled data from three large randomised controlled trials to determine whether early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) was an effective intervention for managing septic shock.
This multicentre audit reviewed the records of 431 patients who had undergone major elective surgery. The authors sought to determine how well IV fluids were prescribed both intraoperatively and perioperatively when compared with current guidance.
This article is a review and summary of the current opinion of albumin in fluid management.
This matched cohort study aimed to determine whether a goal-directed fluid therapy (GDFT) intervention, delivered intraoperatively, would reduce post-operative morbidity in patients undergoing hip revision surgery.
This retrospective, observational study used a propensity scoring system to match patients treated with saline with those given a balanced, calcium-free fluid.
This paper presents a meta-analysis to determine the impact of resuscitation with albumin on the morbidity and mortality of adult burn patients.
This double-blinded, randomised controlled trial examined whether pre-operative administration of exogenous albumin affected rates of acute kidney injury (AKI).
This review paper examines the role of albumin in chronic liver disease, assessing the evidence for its use in several key clinical areas.
This systematic review and meta-analysis looked at the different mortality rates of various intravenous fluids and fluid protocols when used for resuscitation in sepsis.
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