Hydroxyethyl starch in severe sepsis: end of starch era?
EXPANDED ABSTRACT: CITATION: Perner A, Haase N, Guttormsen AB, Tenhunen J, Klemenzson G, Åneman A, Madsen KR, Møller MH, Elkjær JM, Poulsen LM, Bendtsen A, Winding R, Steensen M, Berezowicz P, Søe-Jensen P, Bestle M, Strand K, Wiis J, White JO, Thornberg KJ, Quist L, Nielsen J, Andersen LH, Holst LB, Thormar K, Kjældgaard AL, Fabritius ML, Mondrup F, Pott FC, Møller TP, Winkel P, Wetterslev J; 6S Trial Group; Scandinavian Critical Care Trials Group: Hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.42 versus Ringers acetate in severe sepsis. N Engl J Med 2012, 367:124-34. BACKGROUND: Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is widely used for fluid resuscitation in ICUs, but its safety and efficacy have not been established in patients with severe sepsis. METHODS: OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of HES 130/0.4 compared with a balanced crystalloid solution on mortality and end-stage kidney failure in patients with severe sepsis. DESIGN: Multicenter, parallel-group, blinded, randomized clinical trial, in patients with severe sepsis. INTERVENTIONS: Patients with severe sepsis admitted to the ICU received fluid resuscitation with either 6% HES 130/0.42 (Tetraspan) or Ringers acetate at a dose of up to 33 ml per kilogram of ideal body weight per day. RESULTS: Of the 804 patients who underwent randomization, 798 were included in the modified intention-to-treat population. The two intervention groups had similar baseline characteristics. At 90 days after randomization, 201 of 398 patients (51%) assigned to HES 130/0.42 had died, as compared with 172 of 400 patients (43%) assigned to Ringers acetate (relative risk, 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01 to 1.36; P = 0.03); 1 patient in each group had end-stage kidney failure. In the 90-day period, 87 patients (22%) assigned to HES 130/0.42 were treated with renal replacement therapy versus 65 patients (16%) assigned to Ringers acetate (relative risk, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.80; P = 0.04), and 38 patients (10%) and 25 patients (6%), respectively, had severe bleeding (relative risk, 1.52; 95% CI, 0.94 to 2.48; P = 0.09). The results were supported by multivariate analyses, with adjustment for known risk factors for death or acute kidney injury at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with severe sepsis assigned to fluid resuscitation with HES 130/0.42 had an increased risk of death at day 90 and were more likely to require renal replacement therapy compared with those receiving Ringers acetate.