Early metabolic acidosis in critically ill patients: A binational multicentre study

Katsunori Mochizuki, Tomoko Fujii, Eldho Paul, Matthew Anstey, David V. Pilcher, Rinaldo Bellomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We aimed to measure the incidence, prevalence, characteristics and outcomes of intensive care unit (ICU) patients with early (first 24 hours) metabolic acidosis (MA) according to two different levels of severity with a focus on recent data. Design: We retrospectively applied two diagnostic criteria to our analysis based on literature for early MA: i) severe MA criteria (pH ≤ 7.20 and Paco2 ≤ 45 mmHg and HCO3 − ≤ 20 mmol/L with total Sequential Organ Failure Assessment [SOFA] score ≥ 4 or lactate ≥ 2 mmol/L), and ii) moderate MA criteria (pH < 7.30 and base excess < −4 mmol/L and Paco2 ≤ 45 mmHg). Setting: ICUs in the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Adult Patient Database program. Participants: Adult patients registered to the database from 2008 to 2018. Main outcome measures: Incidence, prevalence, and hospital mortality of patients with MA by the two criteria. Results: We screened 1 076 087 patients. Given the Australian and New Zealand population during the study period, we estimated the incidence of severe MA at 39.5 per million per year versus 349.2–411.5 per million per year for moderate MA. In the most recent 2 years, we observed early severe MA in 1.5% (1350/87 110) of patients compared with 8.4% (20 679/244 740) for moderate MA. Overall, hospital mortality for patients with early severe MA was 48.3% (652/1350) compared with 21.5% (4444/20 679) for moderate MA. Conclusions: Early severe MA is uncommon in Australian and New Zealand ICUs and carries a very high mortality. Moderate MA is over seven-fold more common and still carries a high mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Care and Resuscitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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