A perioperative infusion of sodium bicarbonate does not improve renal function in cardiac surgery patients: a prospective observational cohort study

Matthias Heringlake*, Hermann Heinze, Maria Schubert, Yvonne Nowak, Janina Guder, Maria Kleinebrahm, Hauke Paarmann, Thorsten Hanke, Julika Schön

*Corresponding author for this work
21 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Cardiac-surgery-associated-acute-kidney-injury (CSA-AKI) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Recent data from patients undergoing on-pump coronary artery bypass grafting suggest that a perioperative infusion of sodium-bicarbonate may decrease the incidence of CSA-AKI. The present study aims to analyze the renoprotective effects of a 24h infusion of sodium-bicarbonate in a large, heterogeneous group of cardiac surgical patients. Methods: Starting in 4/2009, all patients undergoing cardiac surgery at our institution were enrolled in a prospective trial analyzing the relationship between preoperative cerebral oxygen saturation and postoperative organ dysfunction. We used this prospectively sampled data set to perform a cohort analysis of the renoprotective efficiency of a 24h continuous perioperative infusion of sodium-bicarbonate on the incidence of CSA-AKI that was routinely introduced in 7/2009. After exclusion of patients with endstage chronic kidney disease, off-pump procedures, and emergency cases, perioperative changes in renal function were assessed in 280 patients treated with a perioperative infusion of 4 mmol sodium-bicarbonate / kg body weight in comparison with a control cohort of 304 patients enrolled from April to June in this prospective cohort study.Postoperative changes in urine flow, plasma creatinine, estimated creatinine clearance, and the need for renal replacement therapy were determined according to AKI injury network criteria. Concomitantly, hemodynamics, treatments, complications, and clinical outcomes were recorded. Univariate statistical analyses were performed para- and nonparametrically, as appropriate.Results: With the exception of a lower prevalence of a history of myocardial infarction and a lower preoperative use of intravenous heparin in the bicarbonate-group, no significant between group differences in patient demographics, surgical risk, type, and duration of surgery were observed. Patients in the bicarbonate group had a lower mean arterial blood pressure after induction of anesthesia, needed more fluids, more vasopressors, and a longer treatment time in the high dependency unit. Despite a higher postoperative diuresis, no differences in the incidence of AKI grade 1 to 3 and the need for renal replacement were observed.Conclusions: Routine perioperative administration of sodium bicarbonate failed to improve postoperative renal function in a large population of cardiac surgical patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberR156
JournalCritical Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16.08.2012


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