Massive fluid requirements and an unusual BUN/creatinine ratio for pre-renal failure in patients with cholera

Muhammad Tariq, Murtaza Memon, Asif Jafferani, Sana Shoukat, Saqib Ali Gowani, Rabeeya Nusrat, Mehmood Riaz, Junaid Patel, Bushra Jamil, Raymond A. Smego

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Background: Cholera is an important infectious cause of secretory diarrhea. The primary symptom of infection is the sudden onset of watery diarrhea with subsequent volume depletion causing renal insufficiency. The objective of this research is to study the level of dehydration at presentation and subsequent fluid management in patients with cholera. Methods: This study was conducted on 191 patients of Cholera admitted at a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan during the period of 5 years. Medical charts were evaluated retrospectively for initial hydration status, baseline lab investigations on admission and discharge and fluid therapy given to all the patients while their stay in the hospital and the data was analyzed on SPSS 15.0. Results: Out of the 191 patients, 83(43%) were males and 108 (57%) were females with mean age of 42.3 years (SD±18.34). The average duration of symptoms was 3.75 days (SD±2.04). Of 191 patients, 175 (92.1%) presented with dehydration, 80 (42.3%) were given Ringer's Lactate (R/L) + Normal Saline (N/S), 45 (24%) patients were given R/L + N/S + Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORS), 27 (14.3%) of the patients were kept on R/L only and remaining were given various combinations of R/L, N/S, ORS and Dextrose Saline (D/S). On admission mean Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) was 24.54 (SD±16.6), mean creatinine was 2.47 (SD±2.35) and mean BUN/Creatinine ratio was 11.63 (SD±5.7). Conclusion: Aggressive fluid rehydration remains the cornerstone of management of cholera. Instead of presenting with a classical BUN/Creatinine ratio of>20:1, patients with pre-renal failure in cholera may present with a BUN/Creatinine ratio of<15:1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere7552
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2009


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