HOUSTON—Sodium bicarbonate loading and continuous infusion may protect cardiac surgery patients from acute kidney injury (AKI).

The finding comes from a double-blind, randomized pilot study of 100 patients undergoing cardiac surgery and who were at high risk of postoperative AKI. Anja Haase-Fielitz, PharmaD, of Charité University Medicine, Berlin, and colleagues randomly assigned 50 subjects to receive 24 hours of IV infusion of sodium bicarbonate (4 mmol/kg) and 50 to receive sodium chloride (4 mmol/kg).

The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who experienced acute renal dysfunction, defined as a greater than 25% postoperative increase in plasma creatinine level within the first five days after surgery.

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Significantly fewer patients in the sodium bicarbonate group experienced postoperative acute renal dysfunction compared with the sodium chloride group (16 vs. 26), which translated into a 57% reduced risk, according to researchers. Dr. Haase-Fielitz reported study findings here at the 29th Annual Dialysis Conference.

The findings also were published recently in Critical Care Medicine (2009;37:39-47).