Hyperchloremia is associated with 30-day mortality in major trauma patients: A retrospective observational study

Jin Young Lee, Tae Hwa Hong, Kyung Won Lee, Myung Jae Jung, Jae Gil Lee, Seung Hwan Lee

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chloride is important for maintaining acid-base balance, muscular activity, osmosis and immunomodulation. In patients with major trauma, chloride levels increase after fluid therapy; this is associated with poor clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether hyperchloremia was associated with increased mortality in patients who had sustained major trauma. Methods: This study enrolled 266 major trauma patients by retrospective chart review, from January 2011 to December 2015. Patients were older than 16 years; were admitted to an intensive care unit; survived more than 48 h; and had sustained major trauma, defined as an injury severity score ≥ 16. Hyperchloremia was defined as a chloride level > 110mEq/L. Delta chloride (Δchloride) was defined as the difference between the serum chloride level measured 48-h post-admission and the initial level. Clinical and laboratory variables were compared between survivors (n = 235) and non-survivors (n = 31). A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between hyperchloremia 48-h post-admission (hyperchloremia-48) and 30-day mortality. Results: The overall 30-day mortality was 11.7 % (n = 31). Hyperchloremia-48 occurred in 65 patients (24.4 %) and the incidence was significantly different between survivors and non-survivors (19.6 vs. 61.3 %, respectively, p < 0.001). Multivariate logistic analysis identified hyperchloremia-48 and Δchloride as independent predictive factors for 30-day mortality in major trauma patients. Discussion: Infusion of chloride-rich solutions, such as normal saline, is itself associated with hyperchloremia, which has been associated with poor patient outcomes. Patients receiving normal saline were more likely to suffer major postoperative complications, acute kidney injury, and infections. Moreover, large changes in serum chloride levels correlated with greater in-hospital mortality. Conclusion: Hyperchloremia 48-h post-admission and Δchloride was associated with 30-day mortality in major trauma patients. These indices may be useful prognostic markers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 4

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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