Fluid administration, vasopressor use and patient outcomes in a group of high-risk cardiac surgical patients receiving postoperative goal-directed haemodynamic therapy: a pilot study
The role of goal-directed therapy in high-risk cardiac surgical patients has not been determined. This study sought to observe the effect of a postoperative standardised haemodynamic protocol (SHP) on the administration of fluid and vasoactive drugs after high-risk cardiac surgery. This was an interventional pilot study. In 2010 to 2011, the SHP was introduced to the ICU at Wellington Regional Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand, for the perioperative management of patients undergoing high-risk cardiac surgery. A pulmonary artery catheter was inserted in the patients in the study group and fluids and supportive medications were provided in the ICU according to a protocol that targeted a cardiac index ≥2 l/min/m2, mixed venous oxygen saturation ≥60% and a mean arterial pressure of 65 to 75 mmHg. Data from 40 consecutive high-risk cardiac surgical patients assigned to this protocol were compared with a matched cohort of 40 consecutive high-risk cardiac surgical patients receiving ‘usual care’ in 2009. Baseline characteristics were similar in the two groups. There was no significant difference in the duration of noradrenaline infusion in the SHP cohort compared to historical controls (median [IQR] 18.5 hours [31.63] versus 18 hours [18.3]; P=0.35), despite patients receiving more fluid in their first 12 hours in the ICU (mean 4687 ml [SD±2284 ml] versus 1889 ml [SD±1344 ml]; P <0.001). The SHP cohort had a higher rate of reintubation (4 in 37 [10.8%] versus 0 in 40 [0%]; P=0.049). The SHP delivered significantly more fluid, but did not reduce the duration of noradrenaline infusion, compared to usual care.