Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice. (Note: All of the studies listed below used licensed HES products except for reference 9.)
A randomized controlled trial (N=804) in severe sepsis patients using an HES product not licensed in the U.S. reported increased mortality (relative risk, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.36; p=0.03) and RRT (relative risk, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.80; p=0.04) in the HES treatment arm.9
Another randomized controlled trial (N=196) in severe sepsis patients reported no difference in mortality (relative risk, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.74; p=0.33) and a trend for RRT (relative risk, 1.83; 95% CI, 0.93 to 3.59; p=0.06) in HES patients.10
A randomized controlled trial (N=7000) in a heterogeneous population of ICU patients reported no difference in mortality (relative risk, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.96 to 1.18; p=0.26) but increased use of RRT (relative risk, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.45; p=0.04 in HES patients.11
In a retrospective study of adult patients (N=1442) undergoing pulmonary or esophageal surgery who were prophylactically fluid-restricted during the procedure, 74 developed AKI (5.1%) within the first 72 hours postoperatively. Fluid restriction neither increased nor was a risk factor for AKI. AKI occurred more often when HES products were administered to patients with decreased renal function or having >2 risk factors with normal renal function, whereas restriction of crystalloid was unrelated to AKI, regardless of preoperative renal function.12
In a retrospective case series of high-risk adult vascular surgery patients (N=796) receiving fluid therapy during a vascular surgery procedure, logistic regression analysis using prespecified confounding variables or suspected risk factors for AKI that showed intraoperative administration of an HES product was associated with increased likelihood of 30-day mortality and need for RRT, compared with use of crystalloids alone.13
In a retrospective study of adult patients undergoing elective noncardiac surgery, patients (N=14,680) receiving an HES product and crystalloid were propensity-matched with patients (N=14,680) receiving only crystalloid. After controlling for potential confounding variables, odds of experiencing AKI of severe intensity with HES was 21% greater than with crystalloid alone. In addition, AKI risk increased as a function of HES volume.14
In a prospective observational study assessing the impact of HES products on recipient renal graft outcomes in brain-dead organ donors, data were obtained on 986 kidneys transplanted from 529 donors. Kidneys from donors who received HES had a higher rate of delayed graft function in recipient subjects (41% versus 31%). After accounting for the propensity of donors to receive HES products, HES product administration was independently associated with an increased risk of delayed graft function in recipients. A dose-response relationship also was evident.15
In a randomized, controlled trial of adult subjects (N=33) undergoing elective cystectomy comparing an HES product versus lactated Ringer's, administration of HES reduced clot strength (Maximum Amplitude; p<0.001) and increased blinded evaluation of perioperative blood loss by more than 50% (2181 mL versus 1370 mL, respectively; p=0.04). There was no significant between-group difference with respect to frequency of reoperation or length of hospital stay.16
In a prospective, sequential, observational study in adult subjects undergoing open heart surgery in association with cardiopulmonary bypass, fluid therapy using only an HES product (2004–2006, N=2137), 4% gelatin (2006–2008, N=2324) and crystalloids (N=2017, 2008–2010) led to increased need for renal replacement therapy after HES and gelatin, compared with crystalloid. Propensity score stratification confirmed greater use of RRT in the HES and gelatin periods compared to the crystalloid period. Fluid intake was higher in the crystalloid group only during the first 20 hours.17
In a retrospective observational study, 606 adult patients underwent open heart surgery in association with cardiopulmonary bypass. Until July 2013 they received an HES product (N=247) both as pump prime (1500 mL) and intraoperative fluid replacement (1000 mL), but only crystalloid (N=359) from August 2013 onward. The frequency (percent) of postoperative AKI was higher in patients receiving HES (N=53; 21.5%) than those receiving crystalloid (N=34; 9.5%). Surgical revision for rebleeding also was higher for HES (N=11; 4.6%) than for crystalloid (N=5; 1.4%).18
In a meta-analysis of RCTs (n=15) in adult subjects (N=4409) undergoing surgery who received an HES product, significantly more HES subjects (83/2157; 3.8%) than controls (56/2252; 2.5%) underwent RRT (relative risk, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.04, 2.01).19
In a retrospective observational study of adult blunt and penetrating trauma patients, use of an HES product was a significant independent predictor of AKI after blunt trauma, but not penetrating trauma, in multiple logistic regression analysis. In separate logistic regression models, HES also was a significant predictor of mortality after blunt trauma but not penetrating trauma.20
In a retrospective observational study of severely injured adult blunt (89%) and penetrating (11%) trauma patients (N=413) admitted to the ICU, 103 patients developed AKI within the first week of ICU admission. AKI was associated with increased 30-day (17.5% versus 5.8%, AKI versus non-AKI cohorts, respectively) and 1-year mortality (26.2% versus 7.1%). Univariate and multivariable regression analyses of prespecified risk factors for AKI found that volume loading using an HES product was independently associated with postinjury AKI within the first 24 hours.21
Because adverse reactions are reported voluntarily post-approval from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate the frequency of these reactions or establish a causal relationship to product exposure.
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