PLoS One. 2021 Apr 26;16(4):e0250292. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250292. eCollection 2021.
PURPOSE: We sought to describe the association between serum chloride levels and mortality among unselected cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed adult patients admitted to our CICU from 2007 to 2015. The association of dyschloremia and hospital mortality was assessed in a multiple variable model including additional confounders, and the association of dyschloremia and post-discharge mortality were assessed using Cox proportional-hazards analysis.
RESULTS: 9,426 patients with a mean age of 67±15 years (37% females) were included. Admission hypochloremia was present in 1,384 (15%) patients, and hyperchloremia was present in 1,606 (17%) patients. There was a U-shaped relationship between admission chloride and unadjusted hospital mortality, with increased hospital mortality among patients with hypochloremia (unadjusted OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.5-3.6, p<0.001) or hyperchloremia (unadjusted OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.6-2.3, p<0.001). After multivariate adjustment, hypochloremia remained associated with higher hospital mortality (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.6-2.9, p <0.001). Post-discharge mortality among hospital survivors was higher among patients with admission hypochloremia (adjusted HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6; p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Abnormal serum chloride on admission to the CICU is associated with increased short- and long-term mortality, with hypochloremia being a strong independent predictor.