This prospective randomized single-blind study reported that the use of hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 (HES 130/0.4) prepared in a saline solution (0.9% NaCl) for cardiopulmonary bypass priming is associated with a shorter ICU and hospital length of stay when compared to a balanced crystalloid solution. In addition, the use of HES 130/0.4 was not associated with increased postoperative blood loss or renal dysfunction compared to the crystalloid solution. Although interesting, these results must be interpreted with caution as the study presented several potential biases. Criteria for ICU and hospital discharge were not defined a priori and the method of randomization used in this single-blind study appeared relatively weak.

– Philippe Van der Linden