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Perioperative use of crystalloids in patients undergoing open radical cystectomy: balanced Ringer’s maleate versus a glucose 5%/potassium-based balanced solution: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Lukas M Löffel1, Bettina Kleeb1, Fiona C Burkhard2 and Patrick Y Wuethrich1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, CH-3010 Berne, Switzerland

2 Department of Urology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland

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Trials 2014, 15:276  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-276

Published: 8 July 2014



The optimal crystalloid solution to use perioperatively in patients undergoing open radical cystectomy remains unclear. Many of the fluids used for intravenous hydration contain supraphysiologic concentrations of chloride, which can induce hyperchloremia and metabolic acidosis, resulting in renal vasoconstriction and decreased renal function. In addition, patients receiving less fluid and less sodium show faster recovery of gastrointestinal (GI) function after colonic surgery.

Methods and design

This is an investigator-initiated, single-center, randomized, controlled, parallel group trial with assessor-blinded outcome assessment, in the Department of Urology, University Hospital Bern, Switzerland. The study will involve 44 patients with bladder cancer scheduled for radical cystectomy and urinary diversion. The primary outcome is the duration between the end of surgery and the return of the GI function (first defecation). Secondary outcomes are fluid balance (body weight difference postoperatively versus preoperatively) and the incidence of kidney function disorders according to the Risk – Injury – Failure – Loss - End Stage Renal Disease (RIFLE classification). An equal number of patients are allocated to receive Ringerfundin® solution or a glucose/potassium-based balanced crystalloid solution as baseline infusion during the entire time that intravenous administration of fluid is necessary during the perioperative period. The randomized crystalloid solution is infused at a rate of 1 ml/kg/h until the bladder has been removed, followed by 3 ml/kg/h until the end of surgery. Postoperative hydration is identical in both groups and consists of 1,500 ml of the randomized crystalloid solution per 24 hours. Postoperative patient care is identical in both groups; patients are allowed to drink clear fluids immediately after surgery, and liquid diet is started on postoperative day 1, as well as active mobilization and the use of chewing gum. Body weight is measured daily in the morning. Time of first flatus and first defecation are recorded.


This trial assesses the benefits and harms of two different balanced crystalloid solutions for perioperative fluid management in patients undergoing open radical cystectomy with urinary diversion, with regard to return of GI function and effects on postoperative renal function.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN32976792 (registered on November 21 2013).

Crystalloid solution; Return of the gastrointestinal function; Radical cystectomy