Intravenous maintenance fluids revisited

Yuval Cavari, Alexander F. Pitfield, Niranjan Kissoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Intravenous maintenance fluid therapy aims to replace daily urinary and insensible losses for ill children in whom adequate enteric administration of fluids is contraindicated or infeasible. The traditional determination of fluid volumes and composition dates back to Holliday and Segar's seminal article from 1957, which describes the relationship between weight, energy expenditure, and physiologic losses in healthy children. Combined with estimates of daily electrolyte requirements, this information supports the use of the hypotonic maintenance fluids that were widely used in pediatric medicine. However, using hypotonic intravenous fluids in a contemporary hospitalized patient who may have complex physiologic derangements, less caloric expenditure, decreased urinary output, and elevated antidiuretic hormone levels is often not optimal; evidence over the last 2 decades shows that it may lead to an increased incidence of hyponatremia. In this review, we present the evidence for using isotonic rather than hypotonic fluids as intravenous maintenance fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1228
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • critical illness
  • hyponatremia
  • maintenance fluid
  • parenteral fluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Intravenous maintenance fluids revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this