Balanced hydroxyethyl starch solution, as part of intraoperative goal-directed fluid therapy, is associated with better short-term outcomes than administration of a balanced crystalloid solution in patients having major open abdominal surgery
The safety of modern hydroxyethyl starch solutions remains debated, with some studies in the intensive care setting have reported potential nephrotoxic effects, while others, performed in a surgical context, have not
What This Article Tells Us That Is New:
In a long-term follow-up of a previous trial comparing hydroxyethyl starch solution and balanced crystalloid used as part of intraoperative goal directed fluid therapy in patients undergoing major open abdominal surgery, there was no evidence that one therapy had superior renal function; however, limited power tempers any ability to completely rule out a difference
Disability-free survival was higher in the colloid than in the crystalloid group
Background: The authors recently demonstrated that administration of balanced hydroxyethyl starch solution as part of intraoperative goal-directed fluid therapy was associated with better short-term outcomes than administration of a balanced crystalloid solution in patients having major open abdominal surgery. In the present study, a 1-yr follow-up of renal and disability outcomes in these patients was performed.
Methods: All patients enrolled in the earlier study were followed up 1 yr after surgery for renal function and disability using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS). The main outcome measure was the estimated glomerular filtration rate. Other outcomes were serum creatinine, urea, pruritus, and WHODAS score. Groups were compared on a complete-case analysis basis, and modern imputation methods were then used in mixed-model regressions to assess the stability of the findings taking into account the missing data.
Results: Of the 160 patients enrolled in the original study, follow-up data were obtained for renal function in 129 and for WHODAS score in 114. There were no statistically significant differences in estimated glomerular filtration rate at 1 yr (ml min−1 1.73 m−2): 80 [65 to 92] for crystalloids versus 74 [64 to 94] for colloids; 95% CI [−10 to 7], P = 0.624. However, the WHODAS score (%) was statistically significantly lower in the colloid than in the crystalloid group (2.7 [0 to 12] vs. 7.6 [1.3 to 18]; P = 0.015), and disability-free survival was higher (79% vs. 60%; 95% CI [2 to 39]; P = 0.024).
Conclusions: In patients undergoing major open abdominal surgery, there was no evidence of a statistically significant difference in long-term renal function between a balanced hydroxyethyl starch and a balanced crystalloid solution used as part of intraoperative goal-directed fluid therapy, although there was only limited power to rule out a clinically significant difference. However, disability-free survival was significantly higher in the colloid than in the crystalloid group.