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Crit Care. 2010;14(4):R147. doi: 10.1186/cc9215. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Treatment of hypophosphatemia in the intensive care unit: a review.

Author information

1
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Catharina Hospital Eindhoven, Michelangelolaan 2, Eindhoven 5623 EJ, The Netherlands. dgeerse@hotmail.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Currently no evidence-based guideline exists for the approach to hypophosphatemia in critically ill patients.

METHODS:

We performed a narrative review of the medical literature to identify the incidence, symptoms, and treatment of hypophosphatemia in critically ill patients. Specifically, we searched for answers to the questions whether correction of hypophosphatemia is associated with improved outcome, and whether a certain treatment strategy is superior.

RESULTS:

Incidence: hypophosphatemia is frequently encountered in the intensive care unit; and critically ill patients are at increased risk for developing hypophosphatemia due to the presence of multiple causal factors.

SYMPTOMS:

hypophosphatemia may lead to a multitude of symptoms, including cardiac and respiratory failure.

TREATMENT:

hypophosphatemia is generally corrected when it is symptomatic or severe. However, although multiple studies confirm the efficacy and safety of intravenous phosphate administration, it remains uncertain when and how to correct hypophosphatemia.

OUTCOME:

in some studies, hypophosphatemia was associated with higher mortality; a paucity of randomized controlled evidence exists for whether correction of hypophosphatemia improves the outcome in critically ill patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Additional studies addressing the current approach to hypophosphatemia in critically ill patients are required. Studies should focus on the association between hypophosphatemia and morbidity and/or mortality, as well as the effect of correction of this electrolyte disorder.

PMID:
20682049
PMCID:
PMC2945130
DOI:
10.1186/cc9215
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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