Multiple Electrolytes Solution Versus Saline as Bolus Fluid for Resuscitation in Pediatric Septic Shock: A Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial

Crit Care Med. 2023 Nov 1;51(11):1449-1460. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000005952. Epub 2023 Jun 9.


Objective: To determine if initial fluid resuscitation with balanced crystalloid (e.g., multiple electrolytes solution [MES]) or 0.9% saline adversely affects kidney function in children with septic shock.

Design: Parallel-group, blinded multicenter trial.

Setting: PICUs of four tertiary care centers in India from 2017 to 2020.

Patients: Children up to 15 years of age with septic shock.

Methods: Children were randomized to receive fluid boluses of either MES (PlasmaLyte A) or 0.9% saline at the time of identification of shock. All children were managed as per standard protocols and monitored until discharge/death. The primary outcome was new and/or progressive acute kidney injury (AKI), at any time within the first 7 days of fluid resuscitation. Key secondary outcomes included hyperchloremia, any adverse event (AE), at 24, 48, and 72 hours, and all-cause ICU mortality.

Interventions: MES solution ( n = 351) versus 0.9% saline ( n = 357) for bolus fluid resuscitation during the first 7 days.

Measurements and main results: The median age was 5 years (interquartile range, 1.3-9); 302 (43%) were girls. The relative risk (RR) for meeting the criteria for new and/or progressive AKI was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.49-0.80; p < 0.001), favoring the MES (21%) versus the saline (33%) group. The proportions of children with hyperchloremia were lower in the MES versus the saline group at 24, 48, and 72 hours. There was no difference in the ICU mortality (33% in the MES vs 34% in the saline group). There was no difference with regard to infusion-related AEs such as fever, thrombophlebitis, or fluid overload between the groups.

Conclusions: Among children presenting with septic shock, fluid resuscitation with MES (balanced crystalloid) as compared with 0.9% saline resulted in a significantly lower incidence of new and/or progressive AKI during the first 7 days of hospitalization.

Trial registration: NCT02835157.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Crystalloid Solutions
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy / adverse effects
  • Fluid Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Resuscitation / methods
  • Saline Solution
  • Shock, Septic* / therapy
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance* / therapy


  • Crystalloid Solutions
  • Saline Solution

Associated data