Crystalloid versus colloid fluids for reduction of postoperative ileus after abdominal operation under combined general and epidural anesthesia

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The main objective of this study was to compare the effect of perioperative administration of crystalloid versus colloid solutions and its impact on reversal of ileus after resection with primary anastomosis of intestine. We hypothesized that inclusion of colloids will improve the return of intestinal motility.


In a double-blinded clinical trial, 91 the American Society of Anesthesiologists I to III patients undergoing abdominal operation for resection with anastomosis of small or large intestine were randomized to receive either lactated Ringer solution crystalloid group or 6% hydroxyethyl starch colloid group to replace intraoperative fluid loss (blood loss + third space). The time to resume normal intestinal motility was the primary end point and the prevalence of composite postoperative complications was the secondary end point.


Average duration of ileus was 86.7 ± 23.6 hours in crystalloid group and it lasted 73.4 ± 20.8 hours in colloid group (P = .006). While there was no difference in the frequency of postoperative nausea and vomiting between the 2 groups (P = .3), the actual vomiting occurred less frequently in colloid group (P = .02). Serum concentrations of potassium ion decreased significantly in both groups, whereas the degree of potassium changes was more remarkable in colloid group compared with crystalloid group (P = .03). Postoperative ileus did not correlate with sex, age, and the duration of operation. Duration of hospital stay was similar between the 2 groups.


We concluded that administration of colloids as a part of perioperative fluid management improves intestinal motility and shortens the duration of ileus after gastrointestinal operations. This may improve the tolerance for enteral feeding and reduce ileus-related symptoms.

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