Methods: In this international, randomized trial, we assigned patients with septic shock in the ICU who had received at least 1 liter of intravenous fluid to receive restricted intravenous fluid or standard intravenous fluid therapy; patients were included if the onset of shock had been within 12 hours before screening. The primary outcome was death from any cause within 90 days after randomization.
Results: We enrolled 1554 patients; 770 were assigned to the restrictive-fluid group and 784 to the standard-fluid group. Primary outcome data were available for 1545 patients (99.4%). In the ICU, the restrictive-fluid group received a median of 1798 ml of intravenous fluid (interquartile range, 500 to 4366); the standard-fluid group received a median of 3811 ml (interquartile range, 1861 to 6762). At 90 days, death had occurred in 323 of 764 patients (42.3%) in the restrictive-fluid group, as compared with 329 of 781 patients (42.1%) in the standard-fluid group (adjusted absolute difference, 0.1 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -4.7 to 4.9; P = 0.96). In the ICU, serious adverse events occurred at least once in 221 of 751 patients (29.4%) in the restrictive-fluid group and in 238 of 772 patients (30.8%) in the standard-fluid group (adjusted absolute difference, -1.7 percentage points; 99% CI, -7.7 to 4.3). At 90 days after randomization, the numbers of days alive without life support and days alive and out of the hospital were similar in the two groups.
Conclusions: Among adult patients with septic shock in the ICU, intravenous fluid restriction did not result in fewer deaths at 90 days than standard intravenous fluid therapy.