Fluid overload before continuous hemofiltration and survival in critically ill children: A retrospective analysis*

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Continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVH) is used for renal replacement and fluid management in critically ill children. A previous small study suggested that survival was associated with less percent fluid overload (%FO) in the intensive care unit (ICU) before hemofiltration. We reviewed our experience with a large series of pediatric CVVH patients to evaluate factors associated with outcome.


Retrospective chart review.


Tertiary children’s hospital.


CVVH pediatric ICU patients from November 1997 to January 2003.



Measurements and Main Results:

%FO was defined as total fluid input minus output (up to 7 days before CVVH for both hospital stay and ICU stay) divided by body weight. One hundred thirteen patients received CVVH; 69 survived (61%). Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) was present in 103 patients; 59 survived (57%). Median patient age was 9.6 yrs (25th, 75th percentile: 2.5, 14.3). Median %FO was significantly lower in survivors vs. nonsurvivors for all patients (7.8% [2.0, 16.7] vs. 15.1% [4.9, 25.9]; p = .02] and in patients with ≥3-organ MODS (9.2% [5.1,16.7] vs. 15.5% [8.3, 28.6]; p = .01). The Pediatric Risk of Mortality Score III at CVVH initiation also was associated with survival in these groups, but by multivariate analysis, %FO was independently associated with survival in patients with ≥3-organ MODS (p = .01).


Survival in critically ill children receiving CVVH in this large series was higher than in previous reports. CVVH survival may be associated with less %FO in patients with ≥3-organ MODS. Prospective studies are necessary to determine whether earlier use of CVVH to control fluid overload in critically ill children can improve survival.

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