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Ann Emerg Med. 2013 Mar;61(3):281-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

Intravenous dextrose for children with gastroenteritis and dehydration: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Department of Pediatrics, Boston, MA, USA. jason.levy@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

We seek to determine whether an initial intravenous bolus of 5% dextrose in normal saline solution compared with normal saline solution will lead to a lower proportion of hospitalized patients and a greater reduction in serum ketone levels in children with gastroenteritis and dehydration.

METHODS:

We enrolled children aged 6 months to 6 years in a double-blind, randomized controlled trial of patients presenting to a pediatric emergency department. Subjects were randomized to receive a 20 mL/kg infusion of either 5% dextrose in normal saline solution or normal saline solution. Serum ketone levels were measured before and at 1- and 2-hour intervals after the initial study fluid bolus administration. Primary outcome was the proportion of children hospitalized. Secondary outcome was change in serum ketone levels over time.

RESULTS:

One hundred eighty-eight children were enrolled. The proportion of children hospitalized did not differ between groups (35% in the 5% dextrose in normal saline solution group versus 44% in the normal saline solution group; risk difference 9%; 95% confidence interval [CI] -5% to 22%). Compared with children who received normal saline solution, those who received 5% dextrose in normal saline solution had a greater reduction in mean serum ketone levels at both 1 hour (mean Δ 1.2 versus 0.1 mmol/L; mean difference 1.1 mmol/L; 95% CI 0.4 to 1.9 mmol/L) and 2 hours (mean Δ 1.9 versus 0.3 mmol/L; mean difference 1.6 mmol/L; 95% CI 0.9 to 2.3 mmol/L).

CONCLUSION:

Administration of a dextrose-containing bolus compared with normal saline did not lead to a lower rate of hospitalization for children with gastroenteritis and dehydration. There was, however, a greater reduction in serum ketone levels in patients who received 5% dextrose in normal saline solution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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