The Safety of Intravenous Peripheral Administration of 3% Hypertonic Saline: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Link to article at PubMed

Am J Med Sci. 2023 May 14:S0002-9629(23)01181-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amjms.2023.04.025. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Three percent hypertonic saline (3% HTS) is used to treat several critical conditions such as severe and symptomatic hyponatremia and increased intracranial pressure. It has been traditionally administered through a central venous catheter (CVC). The avoidance of peripheral intravenous infusion of 3% HTS stems theoretically from the concern about the ability of the peripheral veins to tolerate hyperosmolar infusions. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to assess the rate of complications associated with the infusion of 3% HTS using peripheral intravenous access.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the rate of complications related to the peripheral infusion of 3% HTS. We searched several databases for available studies that met the criteria until February 24th, 2022. We included ten studies conducted across three countries examining the incidence of infiltration, phlebitis, venous thrombosis, erythema, and edema. The overall event rate was calculated and transformed using the Freeman-Tukey arcsine method and pooled using the DerSimonian and Laird random-effects model. I 2 was used to evaluate heterogeneity. Selected items from Newcastle-Ottawa Scale 12 were used to assess the risk of bias in each included study.

RESULTS: A total of 1200 patients were reported to have received peripheral infusion of 3% HTS. The analysis showed that peripherally administered 3% HTS has a low rate of complications. The overall incidence of each of the complications was as follows: infiltration 3.3%, (95% C.I. = 1.8-5.1%), phlebitis 6.2% (95% C.I. = 1.1-14.3%), erythema 2.3% (95% C.I. = 0.3-5.4%) edema 1.8% (95% C.I. = 0.0-6.2%) and venous thrombosis 1% (95% C.I. = 0.0-4.8%). There was one incident of venous thrombosis preceded by infiltration resulting from peripheral infusion of 3% HTS.

CONCLUSION: Peripheral administration of 3% HTS is considered a safe and possibly preferred option as it carries a low risk of complications and is a less invasive procedure compared to CVC.

PMID:37192695 | DOI:10.1016/j.amjms.2023.04.025

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