PURPOSE: To examine the effect of discontinuing hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions on length of hospital stay, transfusion, risk of death, acute kidney injury (AKI), and dialysis.
METHODS: We conducted a historical cohort study of linked administrative and clinical databases in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) on cardiopulmonary bypass. We used propensity scores to match patients who did not receive HES (after discontinuation) with patients exposed to HES (before discontinuation) and also controlled for albumin exposure. Hospital length of stay (the primary outcome) was analyzed using Fine-Gray proportional hazard regression, with hospital discharge as the outcome and death as a competing risk. Adverse outcomes were compared between matched patients using conditional logistic regression.
RESULTS: We compared 1,085 propensity score-matched pairs (n = 2,170) from a pool of 2,757 patients. Discontinuation of HES was associated with shorter length of hospital stay, as evidenced by an increased probability of discharge (hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 1.35) and a reduced risk of red blood cell transfusion (odds ratio [OR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.84), plasma transfusion (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.66), and platelet transfusion (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.87). Discontinuation of HES was not associated with in-hospital mortality (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.36 to 1.54), AKI (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.57 to 1.25), or dialysis (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.25 to 2.73).
CONCLUSIONS: For patients undergoing CABG on cardiopulmonary bypass, discontinuation of HES was associated with reduced hospital length of stay and reduced blood product transfusion, without measurable change in renal failure, dialysis rate, or in-hospital mortality. Our results should be interpreted with caution, though we found no evidence of harms associated with discontinuing HES.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02329158); registered 31 December, 2014.