Conservative fluid management increases ventilator-free days without influencing overall mortality in acute respiratory distress syndrome. Plasma concentrations of B-type natriuretic peptide (a marker of ventricular filling) or aldosterone (a marker of effective circulating volume) may identify patients for whom fluid management impacts survival.
This was a retrospective analysis of the Fluid and Catheter Treatment Trial (FACTT), a randomized trial comparing conservative with liberal fluid management in acute respiratory distress syndrome. Using plasma collected at study enrollment, we measured B-type natriuretic peptide and aldosterone by immunoassay. Multivariable analyses examined the interaction between B-type natriuretic peptide or aldosterone concentration and fluid strategy with regard to 60-day in-hospital mortality.
Among 625 patients with adequate plasma, median B-type natriuretic peptide concentration was 825 pg/mL (interquartile range, 144-1,574 pg/mL), and median aldosterone was 2.49 ng/dL (interquartile range, 1.1-4.3 ng/dL). B-type natriuretic peptide did not predict overall mortality, correlate with fluid balance, or modify the effect of conservative vs liberal fluid management on outcomes. In contrast, among patients with lower aldosterone concentrations, conservative fluid management increased ventilator-free days (17.1 ± 9.8 vs 12.5 ± 10.3, P < .001) and decreased mortality (19% vs 30%, P = .03) (P value for interaction = .01).
In acute respiratory distress syndrome, B-type natriuretic peptide does not modify the effect of fluid management on outcomes. Lower initial aldosterone appears to identify patients for whom conservative fluid management may improve mortality.