Dysnatremia after congenital heart disease (CHD) surgery is common. European guidelines on intraoperative fluid therapy in children recommend isotonic solutions to avoid hyponatremia, but prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass and administration of high sodium-containing solutions (i.e., blood products and sodium bicarbonate) are associated with postoperative hypernatremia. The aim of the study was to describe fluid composition prior to and during the development of postoperative dysnatremia. A retrospective observational, single-center study including infants undergoing CHD surgery. Demographics and clinical characteristics were registered. Highest and lowest plasma sodium values were recorded and associations with perioperative fluid administration, blood products, crystalloids, and colloids were explored in relation to three perioperative periods. Postoperative dysnatremia occurred in nearly 50% of infants within 48 h after surgery. Hypernatremia was mainly associated with administration of blood products (median [IQR]: 50.5 [28.4-95.5] vs. 34.5 [18.5-61.1]mL/kg; p= 0.001), and lower free water load (1.6 [1.1-2.2]mL/kg/h; p= 0.01). Hyponatremia was associated with a higher free water load (2.3 [1.7-3.3] vs. 1.8 [1.4-2.5] mL/kg/h; p= 0.001) and positive fluid balance. On postoperative day 1, hyponatremia was associated with higher volumes of free water (2.0 [1.5-2.8] vs. 1.3 [1.1-1.8]mL/kg/h; p< 0.001) and human albumin, despite a larger diuresis and more negative daily fluid balance. Postoperative hyponatremia occurred in 30% of infants despite restrictive volumes of hypotonic maintenance fluid, whereas hypernatremia was mainly associated with blood product transfusion. Individualized fluid therapy, with continuous reassessment to reduce the occurrence of postoperative dysnatremia is mandatory in pediatric cardiac surgery. Prospective studies to evaluate fluid therapy in pediatric cardiac surgery patients are warranted.

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