The impact of intravenous fluid administration on complication rates in bowel surgery within an enhanced recovery protocol: a randomized controlled trial.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


A randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the hypothesis that there is no difference in complications in patients receiving intravenous (iv) water and electrolyte, based on either stroke volume or clinical indicators at bowel surgery.


Eligible patients were randomized either to intra-operative iv administration of fluid boluses based on stroke volume measured by oesophageal Doppler (probe arm) or to iv fluid based on clinical indicators (no-probe arm). The end-point was the complication rate, defined as deviation from an uneventful postoperative course. Surgery was defined as elective bowel resection with primary anastomosis. All patients were on an enhanced recovery protocol. A randomized controlled trial suggested a sample size of 91 patients.


Ninety-one patients were randomized. Seventeen were excluded because of withdrawal of consent, failure of the procedure or cancellation of surgery. Patients were comparable for age (P = 0.89), gender (P = 0.14), body mass index (BMI) (P = 0.7), American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) score (P > 0.9), race (P = 0.55), colorectal POSSUM score (P = 0.11), comorbidity (P = 0.4), previous operations (P = 0.45) and diagnosis (P = 0.50). Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the Enumeration of Morbidity and Mortality (POSSUM)-predicted mortality was higher in the test (probe) arm (P = 0.011). No differences were observed in epidural analgesia (P = 0.16), type of resection (P = 0.43), incision length (P = 0.40), type of incision (P = 0.47), operation time (P = 0.92), estimated blood loss (EBL) (P = 0.56), time to ambulation (P = 0.95), flatus (P = 0.37), diet (P = 0.17), removal of the epidural anaesthesia (P = 0.26) and length of hospital stay (LOS) (P = 0.575). Intra-operative fluids administered were 3.1 (0.7-77) vs 4 (0.9-6.2) liters (P = 0.53). Postoperative fluids administered were 12.5 (5.5-84.6) vs 11.3 (3.4-49.8) (P = 0.42). Overall and septic complication rates were significantly decreased in the test arm (7/32 (22%) vs 19/40 (49%) (P = 0.022) and 2/32 (6.2%) vs 12/40 (30%) (P = 0.05), respectively).


Intra-operative administration of iv water and electrolyte during bowel surgery, based on stroke volume measured using oesophageal Doppler, was associated with decreased complication rates.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zakhaleva, J; Tam, J; Denoya, PI; Bishawi, M; Bergamaschi, R

Published Date

  • July 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 892 - 899

PubMed ID

  • 23905554

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1463-1318

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1462-8910

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/codi.12180


  • eng