A randomised controlled trial of succinylated gelatin (4%) fluid on urinary acute kidney injury biomarkers in cardiac surgical patients

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Background: Fluid resuscitation is frequently required for cardiac surgical patients admitted to the intensive care unit. The ideal fluid of choice in regard to efficacy and safety remains uncertain. Compared with crystalloid fluid, colloid fluid may result in less positive fluid balance. However, some synthetic colloids are associated with increased risk of acute kidney injury (AKI). This study compared the effects of succinylated gelatin (4%) (GEL) with compound sodium lactate (CSL) on urinary AKI biomarkers in patients after cardiac surgery.

Methods: Cardiac surgical patients who required an intravenous fluid bolus of at least 500 mL postoperatively were randomly allocated to receive GEL or CSL as the resuscitation fluid of choice for the subsequent 24 h. Primary outcomes were serial urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and cystatin C concentrations measured at baseline, 1 h, 5 h and 24 h after enrolment, with higher concentrations indicating greater kidney injury. Secondary biomarker outcomes included urinary clusterin, alpha 1-microglobulin and F-2-isoprostanes concentrations. Differences in change of biomarker concentration between the two groups over time were compared with mixed-effects regression models. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: Forty cardiac surgical patients (n = 20 per group) with similar baseline characteristics were included. There was no significant difference in the median volume of fluid boluses administered over 24 h between the GEL (1250 mL, Q1-Q3 500-1750) and CSL group (1000 mL, Q1-Q3 500-1375) (P = 0.42). There was a significantly greater increase in urinary cystatin C (P < 0.001), clusterin (P < 0.001), alpha 1-microglobulin (P < 0.001) and F-2-isoprostanes (P = 0.020) concentrations over time in the GEL group, compared to the CSL group. Change in urinary NGAL concentration (P = 0.68) over time was not significantly different between the groups. The results were not modified by adjustment for either urinary osmolality or EuroSCORE II predicted risk of mortality.

Conclusions: This preliminary randomised controlled trial showed that use of succinylated gelatin (4%) for fluid resuscitation after cardiac surgery was associated with increased biomarker concentrations of renal tubular injury and dysfunction, compared to crystalloid fluid. These results generate concern that use of intravenous gelatin fluid may contribute to clinically relevant postoperative AKI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages14
JournalIntensive Care Medicine Experimental
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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