Does A Balanced Colloid Decrease Perioperative Blood Loss in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery: A Double-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial?


Unbalanced fluid solutions cause metabolic acidosis and could be associated with impaired coagulation and increased blood loss.


To investigate whether the use of a balanced colloid compared with a saline colloid for peri-operative fluid therapy in children undergoing cardiac surgery is associated with decreased blood loss and exposure to blood products.


Children older than 29 days and younger than 3 years admitted for cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Exclusion criteria were emergency cardiac surgery, moribund (American Society of Anesthesiologists 5), Jehovah’s witnesses, coagulopathy, renal failure, liver injury, intracranial haemorrhage and electrolyte disturbances. From the 128 patients eligible, 88 were included in the study.


Random assignment of patients to either a saline colloid (6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 in 0.9% NaCl) or a balanced-electrolyte colloid (6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 in an isotonic solution) for CPB priming and intra- and postoperative fluid therapy during the first postoperative 48 h.

Main Outcome Measure

The primary outcome measure was calculated blood loss until the third postoperative day (POD3).


A total of 44 patients were included in each study arm. Calculated blood loss at POD3 was not significantly different between the groups (saline colloid 19.9 [IQR 13.8 to 26.1] ml kg−1 versus balanced colloid 15.9 [IQR 9.0 to 25.3 ml kg−1], P = 0.409). Secondary outcomes related to bleeding, exposure to blood products and coagulation were not different between groups. There was also no difference in length of mechanical ventilation, intensive care and hospital length of stay between groups.


The use of a balanced colloid for peri-operative fluid therapy compared with a saline one is not associated with decreased blood loss or exposure to blood products.