Current opinion in critical care vol:8 issue:6 pages:535-43
Fluid therapy, together with attention to oxygen supply, is the cornerstone of resuscitation in all critically ill patients. Hypovolemia results in inadequate blood flow to meet the metabolic requirements of the tissues and must be treated urgently to avoid the complication of progressive organ failure, including acute renal failure. The kidney plays a critical role in body fluid homeostasis. Renal dysfunction disturbs this homeostasis and requires special attention to issues of fluid balance and fluid overload. In addition, fluid therapy is the only treatment that has been shown to be effective in the prevention of acute renal failure. Special attention to volume status is therefore required in patients at risk for acute renal failure. Hypovolemia is also a major causal factor of morbidity during hemodialysis and may contribute to further renal insults. Although the importance of fluid management is generally recognized, the choice of fluid, the amount, and assessment of fluid status are controversial. As the choice of fluids becomes wider and monitoring devices become more sophisticated, the controversy increases. This article provides an overview of the concept of fluid management in the critically ill patient with acute renal failure.