The outcomes of large-volume IVF administration to septic shock patients with comorbid congestive heart failure (CHF) and/or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are uncertain and widely debated in the existing literature. Despite this uncertainty, CMS continues to recommend that 30 ml/kg of an intravenous crystalloid solution be administered to patients in septic shock starting within 3 h of presentation. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the relationship between adherence to this guideline and outcomes among patients whose underlying comorbidities present a risk of fluid overload.
Our search was conducted on PubMed and Scopus through November 5, 2021 to identify studies that evaluated clinical outcomes among septic patients with CHF/ESRD based on volume of fluid administered. The primary outcome measured was mortality at 30 days post-hospital discharge. Other outcomes included the rates of vasopressor requirements, invasive mechanical ventilation during hospitalization, as well as length of stay in the intensive care unit and/or hospital. We used random effects meta-analysis when two or more studies reported the same outcome.
We included five studies in the final meta-analysis, which comprised 5804 patients, 5260 (91%) of whom received non-aggressive fluid resuscitation, as defined by the studies’ authors. Random-effects meta-analysis for all-cause mortality showed that aggressive fluid resuscitation was associated with statistically non-significant increased odds of mortality (OR 1.42, 95% CI 0.88-2.3, P = 0.15, I = 35%). There was no statistical association between volume of IVF administration and other outcomes evaluated.
Among septic shock patients with CHF and/or ESRD, administration of greater than or equal to 30 ml/kg IVF was associated with a non-significant increase in odds of mortality. All other outcomes measured were found to be non-significant, although there was a trend toward better outcomes among patients in the restricted-volume compared to the standard-volume IVF groups. Since this meta-analysis only included five observational studies, more studies are needed to guide an optimal volume and rate of fluid administration in this patient population.

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