Isotonic versus hypotonic fluid supplementation in term neonates with severe hyperbilirubinemia - a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial Academic Article uri icon

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  • AIM: To compare the incidence of hyponatremia in full-term neonates with severe hyperbilirubinemia, receiving intravenous fluid supplementation with 0.2% saline in 5% dextrose versus 0.9% saline in 5% dextrose, to prevent blood exchange transfusion (BET). METHODS: In this double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, full-term newborns (≥37 weeks), appropriate for gestational age, with severe non-haemolytic hyperbilirubinemia (serum bilirubin ≥ 20 mg/dL) were enrolled. Eligible neonates were randomized to receive either 0.2% saline in 5% dextrose (hypotonic fluid group) or 0.9% saline in 5% dextrose (isotonic fluid group) over 8 hrs, in addition to phototherapy. The primary outcome was proportion of neonates developing hyponatremia (serum Na < 135 mmol/L) after 8 h. RESULTS: Forty-two neonates were analysed in each group. Proportion of neonates developing hyponatremia after 8 h was higher in hypotonic fluid group as compared to isotonic fluid group (48.8% vs. 10.5%, p < 0.001). However, a larger proportion in isotonic fluid group developed hypernatremia (39.5% vs. 12.2%, p < 0.001). The rate of BET was similar in both groups. CONCLUSION: In full-term neonates with severe hyperbilirubinemia, administration of hypotonic fluid to prevent BET was associated with a higher incidence of hyponatremia while isotonic fluid was associated with an increased incidence of hypernatremia.


  • Balasubramanian, Karthik
  • Kumar, Praveen
  • Saini, Shiv Sajan
  • Attri, Savita Verma
  • Dutta, Sourabh

publication date

  • March 2012

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