Sodium bicarbonate use and the risk of hypernatremia in thoracic aortic surgical patients with metabolic acidosis following deep hypothermic circulatory arrest

Kamrouz Ghadimi, Jacob Gutsche, Harish Ramakrishna, Samuel Setegne, Kirk Jackson, John Augoustides, E. Ochroch, Stuart Weiss, Joseph Bavaria, Albert Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Metabolic acidosis after deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) for thoracic aortic operations is commonly managed with sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO 3 ). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between total NaHCO 3 dose and the severity of metabolic acidosis, duration of mechanical ventilation, duration of vasoactive infusions, and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or hospital length of stay (LOS). Methods: In a single center, retrospective study, 87 consecutive elective thoracic aortic operations utilizing DHCA, were studied. Linear regression analysis was used to test for the relationships between the total NaHCO 3 dose administered through postoperative day 2, clinical variables, arterial blood gas values, and short-term clinical outcomes. Results: Seventy-five patients (86%) received NaHCO 3. Total NaHCO 3 dose averaged 136 ± 112 mEq (range: 0.0-535 mEq) per patient. Total NaHCO 3 dose correlated with minimum pH (r = 0.41, P < 0.0001), minimum serum bicarbonate (r = -0.40, P < 0.001), maximum serum lactate (r = 0.46, P = 0.007), duration of metabolic acidosis (r = 0.33, P = 0.002), and maximum serum sodium concentrations (r = 0.29, P = 0.007). Postoperative hypernatremia was present in 67% of patients and peaked at 12 h following DHCA. Eight percent of patients had a serum sodium ≥ 150 mEq/L. Total NaHCO 3 dose did not correlate with anion gap, serum chloride, not the duration of mechanical ventilator support, vasoactive infusions, ICU or hospital LOS. Conclusion: Routine administration of NaHCO 3 was common for the management of metabolic acidosis after DHCA. Total dose of NaHCO 3 was a function of the severity and duration of metabolic acidosis. NaHCO 3 administration contributed to postoperative hypernatremia that was often severe. The total NaHCO 3 dose administered was unrelated to short-term clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-462
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016



  • Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest
  • Hypernatremia
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Sodium bicarbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this