Perioperative fluid management in children: an updated review


Anesthesia, Perioperative Care, Pediatrics, Isotonic Solutions, Hemodynamic Monitoring

Published online: Dec 03 2022

M. Beels1,2, S. Stevens1,2, V. Saldien1,2

Dept. of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. University Hospital Antwerp (UZA), Edegem, Belgium
2 Faculty of Medicine. University of Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium.


Background: Perioperative fluid management in children has been a major topic for debate.

Objectives: Our aim is to review the current evidence on perioperative fluid management in children including: type of fluid, administration rates, preoperative fluid intake and monitoring techniques.

Design: Narrative review.

Method: Following the PRISMA-S guidelines we performed a search (2010-March 2022) in databases Medline (through PubMed) and Cochrane Library. 4297 citations were found and screened by two independent researchers. After screening, 64 articles were withheld for our review.

Results: The perioperative administration of isotonic fluids is safer than hypotonic solutions, concerning the development of hyponatremia. A balanced isotonic solution with 1-2,5% glucose should be used as perioperative maintenance IV fluid in children (1 month to 18 years). Colloids can be used in children when inadequate effect in volume correction is achieved with crystalloids. The preferred synthetic colloid for children is a third generation HES in a balanced solution. To date, most clinicians use the “4-2-1 rule” for calculating fluid rate. This may not be the optimal fluid rate, as little research has been done. Preoperative fasting for clear fluids should be limited to 1 hour, children should even be encouraged to drink up until 1 hour before induction. Respiratory variation of aortic blood flow peak velocity (ΔVpeak) with echocardiography is currently the most reliable technique for evaluating fluid responsiveness in children.