Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Randomised controlled trial of colloid or crystalloid in hypotensive preterm infants
  1. King W So,
  2. Tai F Fok,
  3. Pak C Ng,
  4. William W Wong,
  5. Kam L Cheung
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  1. Dr TF Fok.


AIM To compare the efficacy of a colloid (5% albumin) and a crystalloid (isotonic saline) solution for treating hypotension in mechanically ventilated preterm infants.

METHODS Sixty three preterm infants weighing 540 to 1950 g at birth and with gestational ages of 23 to 34 weeks, who developed hypotension (mean arterial pressure < 25, 30, and 35 mm Hg for infants with birthweight <1, 1-1.49, and 1.5-1.99 kg, respectively) within the first 2 hours of life, were randomly allocated to receive intravenous infusions at 10 ml/kg of either 5% albumin (group 1, n=32) or isotonic (0.9%) saline (group 2, n=31). Inotropic support with dopamine infusion was given if the infants remained hypotensive after a total of three infusions (30 ml/kg). Subsequent extra doses of volume expander in the form of 5% albumin was given, depending on the infant’s blood pressure.

RESULTS There was no difference in the volume of the test solutions required between the two groups. Outcome, as assessed by the number of infants requiring inotropic support and death or chronic lung disease, did not differ between the groups. After inotropic support, however, group 1 required significantly more volume expander to maintain normal blood pressure (median: 27.5 ml/kgvs 10 ml/kg; P=0.0187) and had a higher mean (SEM) percentage weight gain within the first 48 hours of life (at 24 hours: 6.3(1.3)% vs 3.3(0.8)%; P=0.049; at 48 hours: 5.9(1.9)%vs 0.9(1.7)%; P=0.045). The difference in weight gain was significant at 48 hours even when only those infants not requiring inotropic support or extra 5% albumin were compared (group 1: 1.5(1.5)%, group 2: -4.2(1.1)%; P = 0.027).

CONCLUSIONS Isotonic saline is as effective as 5% albumin for treating hypotension in preterm infants, and it has the additional advantage of causing less fluid retention in the first 48 hours.

  • blood pressure
  • hypotension
  • colloid
  • crystalloid, inotropic support

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.