Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2023 Mar 28. doi: 10.2215/CJN.0000000000000157. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In critically ill patients receiving kidney replacement therapy (KRT), high ultrafiltration rates and persistent fluid accumulation are associated with adverse outcomes. The purpose of this international survey was to evaluate current practices and evidence gaps related to fluid removal with KRT in critically ill patients.
METHODS: This was a multinational, web-based survey distributed by 7 networks comprising nephrologists and intensivists. Physicians involved in the care of critically ill patients were invited to complete a 39 question survey about fluid-management practices on KRT. The survey was distributed from September 2021 to December 2021.
RESULTS: There were 757 respondents from 96 countries (response rate of 65%). Most respondents practiced adult medicine (89%) and worked in an academic center (69%). The majority (91%) reported aiming for a 0.5 to 2 L negative fluid balance per day when fluid removal is indicated, although there was important variability in what respondents considered a safe maximal target. Intensivists were more likely than nephrologists to use adjunct volume status assessment methods (i.e. ultrasound, hemodynamic markers, intra-abdominal pressure) while nephrologists were more likely to deploy co-interventions aimed at improving tolerance to fluid removal (i.e. osmotic agents, low-temperature dialysate). There was a broad consensus that rapid decongestion should be prioritized when fluid accumulation is present, but the prevention of hypotension was also reported as a competing priority. A majority (77%) agreed that performing trials that compare fluid management strategies would be ethical and clinically relevant.
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified multiple areas of variability in current practice of fluid management for patients receiving KRT. The majority of nephrologists and intensivists agreed that several knowledge gaps related to fluid removal strategies should be investigated in future randomized controlled trials.