Introduction Sub-optimal fluid therapy during peri-operative time period may influence the postoperative mortality and morbidity. The aim of this article is to systematically review the randomised trials analysing the restricted fluid therapy (RFT) and non-restricted fluid therapy (NRFT) in patients undergoing laparoscopic and open colorectal surgery.
Methods A simple model was applied to evaluate the various variables reported in the published randomised, controlled trials comparing the role of RFT and NRFT by the use of principles of meta-analysis. The primary outcome measure was postoperative morbidity. Secondary endpoints were mortality and hospital stay. A random effects model was applied.
Results Seventeen randomised, controlled trials on 2165 patients were included. The incidence of postoperative morbidity (OR 0.84; 95% CI 0.57 to 1.24; z=0.90; =0.37) and mortality (OR 0.93; 95% CI 0.47 to 1.84; z=0.20; =0.84) was statistically similar following the use of either RFT or NRFT. In addition, both techniques of fluid therapy were associated with similar length of hospital stay (standardised mean difference, −0.12; 95% CI −0.55 to 0.31; z=0.53; p=0.59).
Conclusion This meta-analysis suggests that RFT in patients undergoing laparoscopic and open colorectal surgery does not offer any advantage over NRFT.
Competing interests None declared.