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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 614-621

Perioperative fluid management: From physiology to improving clinical outcomes

Department of Intensive Care Medicine, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and St George's University of London, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Victoria A Bennett
St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Blackshaw Road. London SW17 0QT
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_456_17

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Perioperative fluid management is a key component in the care of the surgical patient. It is an area that has seen significant changes and developments, however there remains a wide disparity in practice between clinicians. Historically, patients received large volumes of intravenous fluids perioperatively. The concept of goal directed therapy was then introduced, with the early studies showing significant improvements in morbidity and mortality. The current focus is on fluid therapy guided by an individual patient's physiology. A fluid challenge is commonly performed as part of an assessment of a patient's fluid responsiveness. There remains wide variation in how clinicians perform a fluid challenge and this review explores the evidence for how to administer an effective challenge that is both reliable and reproducible. The methods for monitoring cardiac output have evolved from the pulmonary artery catheter to a range of less invasive techniques. The different options that are available for perioperative use are considered. Fluid status can also be assessed by examining the microcirculation and the importance of recognising the possibility of a lack of coherence between the macro and microcirculation is discussed. Fluid therapy needs to be targeted to specific end points and individualised. Not all patients who respond to a fluid challenge will necessarily require additional fluid administration and care should be aimed at identifying those who do. This review aims to explain the underlying physiology and describe the evidence base and the changes that have been seen in the approach to perioperative fluid therapy.

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