Fluid management in cardiac surgery: colloid or crystalloid?
The crystalloid-colloid debate has raged for decades, with the publication of many meta-analyses, yet no consensus. There are important differences between colloids and crystalloids, and these differences have direct relevance for cardiac surgical patients. Rather than asking crystalloid or colloid, we believe better questions to ask are (1) High or low chloride content? and (2) Synthetic or natural colloid? In this paper we review the published literature regarding fluid therapy in cardiac surgery and explain the background to these two important and unanswered questions.
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