Acetazolamide Therapy for Metabolic Alkalosis in Pediatric Intensive Care Patients. (Dodd)

López C, et al. Acetazolamide Therapy for Metabolic Alkalosis in Pediatric Intensive Care Patients. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Dec; 17(12):e551-e558.

OBJECTIVE: Patients in PICUs frequently present hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis secondary to loop diuretic treatment, especially those undergoing cardiac surgery. This study evaluates the effectiveness of acetazolamide therapy for metabolic alkalosis in PICU patients.

DESIGN: Retrospective, observational study.

SETTING: A tertiary care children’s hospital PICU.

PATIENTS: Children receiving at least a 2-day course of enteral acetazolamide.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Demographic variables, diuretic treatment and doses of acetazolamide, urine output, serum electrolytes, urea and creatinine, acid-base excess, pH, and use of mechanical ventilation during treatment were collected. Patients were studied according to their pathology (postoperative cardiac surgery, decompensated heart failure, or respiratory disease). A total of 78 episodes in 58 patients were identified: 48 were carried out in cardiac postoperative patients, 22 in decompensated heart failure, and eight in respiratory patients. All patients received loop diuretics. A decrease in pH and PCO2 in the first 72 hours, a decrease in serum HCO3 (mean, 4.65 ± 4.83; p < 0.001), and an increase in anion gap values were observed. Urine output increased in cardiac postoperative patients (4.5 ± 2.2 vs 5.1 ± 2.0; p = 0.020), whereas diuretic treatment was reduced in cardiac patients. There was no significant difference in serum electrolytes, blood urea, creatinine, nor chloride after the administration of acetazolamide from baseline. Acetazolamide treatment was well tolerated in all patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Acetazolamide decreases serum HCO3 and PCO2 in PICU cardiac patients with metabolic alkalosis secondary to diuretic therapy. Cardiac postoperative patients present a significant increase in urine output after acetazolamide treatment.

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