Fluid therapy in neurointensive care patients: ESICM consensus and clinical practice recommendations

Intensive Care Med. 2018 Apr;44(4):449-463. doi: 10.1007/s00134-018-5086-z. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


Objective: To report the ESICM consensus and clinical practice recommendations on fluid therapy in neurointensive care patients.

Design: A consensus committee comprising 22 international experts met in October 2016 during ESICM LIVES2016. Teleconferences and electronic-based discussions between the members of the committee subsequently served to discuss and develop the consensus process.

Methods: Population, intervention, comparison, and outcomes (PICO) questions were reviewed and updated as needed, and evidence profiles generated. The consensus focused on three main topics: (1) general fluid resuscitation and maintenance in neurointensive care patients, (2) hyperosmolar fluids for intracranial pressure control, (3) fluid management in delayed cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid haemorrhage. After an extensive literature search, the principles of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system were applied to assess the quality of evidence (from high to very low), to formulate treatment recommendations as strong or weak, and to issue best practice statements when applicable. A modified Delphi process based on the integration of evidence provided by the literature and expert opinions-using a sequential approach to avoid biases and misinterpretations-was used to generate the final consensus statement.

Results: The final consensus comprises a total of 32 statements, including 13 strong recommendations and 17 weak recommendations. No recommendations were provided for two statements.

Conclusions: We present a consensus statement and clinical practice recommendations on fluid therapy for neurointensive care patients.

Keywords: Evidence‐based medicine; Fluid therapy; Guidelines; Hypertonic; Intracerebral haemorrhage; Mannitol; Neurointensive care; Stroke; Subarachnoid haemorrhage; Traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / therapy*
  • Coma / therapy*
  • Consensus
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Telecommunications