Category: Critical Care Literature Update
Keywords: balanced crystalloid, saline, resuscitation, kidney injury (PubMed Search)
Balanced crystalloids: So Hot Right Now
The use of balanced crystalloids has been the subject of several RCTs with conflicting results. However, recent post-hoc and meta-analyses of these same trials suggest that balanced crystalloids may be the best choice initially. See nice summary at: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.202203-0611ED.
While I had thought about summarizing the recently published data on EPR from the CRITICAL trial in Japan, JournalFeed today covered the recent post-hoc analysis of the BaSICS trial originally seen on CC Pearls back in August 31, 2021 by Dr. Sjelocha. This subject is as important as it is confusing. There are large and relatively well done RCTs that point in opposite and sometimes strange directions. However, as the authors of the SMART trial summarized, even an NNT of 94 in this population could be a huge number of patients!
The use of balanced crystalloids (e.g. Plasmalyte) has been the subject of several previous RCTs (SMART and SALT-ED) with conflicting results. Recently the PLUS RCT and BaSICS trials seemed to push the literature towards to concluding there was no difference, but there are caveats for both trials now in the literature:
This paper makes a nice point which I think is important for us in the ED: the evidence is suggesting a commonality in many critical care concepts, which is that decisions made in early resuscitation may have an outsized impact on patient outcomes. However, this will not be the last we hear on this subject, but for the time being, I agree with Dr. Lacy that “It might not matter as much what fluids you choose when patients are on their third, fourth, or fifth liter of fluid – but especially for the sickest patients, it sure seems like the initial resuscitation fluid makes a difference.”
BaSICS post hoc: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.202111-2484OC (See JournalFeed post from today and the accompanying editorial)
BASICS: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2783039 (summary stolen from Dr. Sjeklocha’s August 31, 2022 CC Pearl)