Use of hypertonic-hyperoncotic fluids for resuscitation of trauma patients

M. J. Vassar, James W Holcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Hypertonic sodium chloride solutions in concentrations ranging from 1.5% to 24% have been studied for use in the resuscitation of burn and hemorrhagic shock victims for many years. In animal studies, in the setting of small volume resuscitation, hypertonic sodium chloride is superior to standard isotonic crystalloid resuscitation for restoration of hemodynamic stability. The combination of hypertonic sodium chloride with a hyperoncotic colloid solution sustains hemodynamic improvements for an additional hour. Hypertonic-hyperoncotic solutions restore vascular volume primarily by drawing water out of the cell and then selectively partitioning some of the newly recruited fluid within the plasma space. The hyperosmolar state also augments microcirculatory flow, reduces cerebral edema formation, and perhaps increases myocardial contractility. The ability to increase cardiac output with small volume hypertonic-hyperoncotic resuscitation may solve some of the problems related to fluid resuscitation in the prehospital setting when transport times are prolonged or mass casualties need to be treated. Decreasing the volume of fluid required during resuscitation may also prove beneficial in the setting of craniocerebral trauma where the administration of large volumes of crystalloid can increase intracranial pressure. The largest clinical experiences have been reported with the administration of 4 mL/kg of 7.5% sodium chloride combined with 6% dextran 70. These studies have shown that this solution is safe to administer and effective for reversal of hypotension. Whether or not the ability to reverse hypotension will translate into improved survival remains undetermined at present and will require larger multi-institutional trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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