Table 1

 Baseline clinical and biochemical characteristics of the children randomly assigned to receive either 0.45% saline (N/2) or 0.9% saline (NS)

N/2NS
n = 51n = 51
SDS, standard deviation score.
Results are expressed as either *mean (SD) or †median (range). As expected from randomisation, there were no significant differences between the groups. The rate of IV fluids received conformed to either the rapid replacement protocol (RRP) or slow replacement protocol (SRP) at the discretion of the treating physician.
‡The admission weight, length (in children under 2 years), or height and body mass index (BMI; weight/height2) were expressed as standard deviation scores (SDS) to allow comparison across ages.
§Four children aged between 0.9 and 3.7 years had blood glucose concentrations at T0 of between 2.0 and 2.6 mmol/l. The hypoglycaemia responded to the 2.5% dextrose content of each study fluid and subsequent investigations excluded a second pathology.
¶Analysis of urine samples collected in 43 of 49 children who passed urine between −1 and +2 hours of starting IV fluids.
M/F30/2123/28
Age, years*3.1 (2.0)2.7 (1.5)
% dehydrated†5 (3–7)5 (3–7)
Height SDS*‡0.4 (1.1)0.5 (1.3)
Weight SDS*‡0.0 (1.1)0.1 (0.9)
BMI SDS*‡−0.4 (1.2)−0.3 (1.2)
Duration of illness prior†1 day (<24h–7d)2 days (<24h–5d)
Presenting symptoms, n (%)
    Vomiting illness only18 (35%)11 (22%)
    Diarrhoea only1 (2%)1 (2%)
    Vomiting and diarrhoea32 (63%)39 (77%)
Fluid rate initiated
    RRP40/5138/51
    SRP11/5113/51
Plasma biochemistry*
    Sodium, mmol/l136 (2.8)135 (3.6)
    Potassium, mmol/l4.0 (0.5)4.0 (0.5)
    Bicarbonate, mmol/l17.9 (2.9)17.8 (3.0)
    Urea, mmol/l5.1 (1.9)5.6 (1.9)
    Creatinine, μmol/l46.6 (12.2)45.9 (10.4)
    Glucose, mmol/l§4.3 (1.1)4.4 (1.1)
    Osmolality, mOsm/kg281 (7)281 (8)
    Hyponatraemia (plasma Na <135 mmol/l) at T0, n (%)16/51 (31%)23/51 (41%)
Urine biochemistry†¶ n = 23 n = 20
    Sodium, mmol/l58 (<10–204)63 (<10–209)
    Potassium, mmol/l71 (13–171)70 (19–232)
    Tonicity (sodium + potassium), mmol/l161 (19–285)153 (26–300)
    Osmolality, mOsm/kg973 (315–1290)1004 (574–1200)