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Colloid solutions have been associated with kidney dysfunction in septic animals and humans. The present study investigated the influence of resuscitation with human albumin (HA) 5%, hydroxyethyl starch (HES) 130/0.4 6%, and balanced crystalloids on ultrastructural kidney damage, kidney function, and survival in a model of ovine septic shock.After induction of peritoneal septic shock, animals were randomised to one of the following groups: (1) HA 5%, (2) HES 130/0.4 6%, (3) balanced crystalloid, and (4) control (each n=10). Causal therapy included re-laparotomy, peritoneal lavage, and antimicrobial therapy. Sequential kidney biopsies were obtained for the assessment of the electron microscopic tubular injury (EMTI) score.Serum creatinine and urea were highest in the control group, and there were no differences between the intervention groups. Cumulative diuresis was significantly higher in the HA group [1.0 ml kg−1 h−1 (0.6; 1.2)] compared with control [0.7 ml kg−1 h−1 (0.6; 0.9), P<0.05]. Creatinine clearance was highest in the HA and crystalloid groups. Ultrastructural kidney damage was highest in the control group [EMTI score 7.8 (6.7; 9.0)] without differences between intervention groups. Survival was 100% in the colloid groups vs 90% (crystalloid) and 60% (control, all P<0.05).In an ovine model of septic shock, kidney function and cumulative diuresis were preserved in the 5% albumin and crystalloid resuscitation groups, whereas HES 130/0.4 6% resulted in diminished creatinine clearance. Differences in kidney function between resuscitation fluids could not be explained by differences in ultrastructural kidney damage.84-02.04.2011.A300.