Balanced salt solution versus normal saline solution as initial fluid resuscitation in pediatric septic shock: A randomized, double-blind controlled trial


Objective: Initial fluid resuscitation is mandatory in treatment of septic shock. Current sepsis guidelines do not have the recommendation for either balanced salt or normal saline solution for initial fluid resuscitation. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of balanced salt solution (BS) versus normal saline solution (NS) in pediatric septic shock as initial fluid resuscitation.

Design: A double-blind randomized controlled trial study.

Setting: A single tertiary care center in Bangkok, Thailand.

Patients and participants: Children aged 1 month to 18 years who were diagnosed with septic shock. We excluded patients who received fluid resuscitation in the 24 hours prior to septic shock, endstage disease, and refusal of informed consent.

Interventions: Patients were randomly assigned into 2 groups after being diagnosed with septic shock and required fluid resuscitation (NS or BS).

Measurements and results: Demographic data, vasoactiveinotropic scores, and outcomes were evaluated. The primary outcome was incidence of hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. Sixtyone septic shock children were enrolled into this study (NS=31 patients, and BS=30 patients). Baseline characteristics between two groups were not different. The incidence of hyperchlor-emic metabolic acidosis was 17 (54.8%) and 10 (33.3%) in NS and BS groups, respectively (p=0.091). The hospital mortality and prevalence of acute kidney injury were not different between groups.

Conclusion: In pediatric septic shock, the initial fluid resuscitation with balanced salt solution and normal saline was associated with similar clinical outcomes. However, normal saline solution had a trend toward more frequent hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis in children with septic shock when compared to balanced salt solution.