Comparison of Arginine Hydrochloride and Acetazolamide for the Correction of Metabolic Alkalosis in Pediatric Patients.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000147


Metabolic alkalosis is a common acid-base disturbance occurring in critically ill pediatric patients. Acetazolamide and arginine hydrochloride are pharmacologic agents used at our institution for patients refractory to first-line therapy or those unable to tolerate fluid replacement. The objective of this retrospective review was to determine if a course of arginine hydrochloride or acetazolamide was more effective at correcting metabolic alkalosis within a 24-hour period. Patients included received a course of acetazolamide or arginine hydrochloride for metabolic alkalosis with a repeat metabolic panel 18-30 hours after treatment initiation. Exclusion criteria consisted of previous treatment with either drug within 24 hours or a documented metabolic disorder. Efficacy was determined by proportion of patients achieving resolution of metabolic alkalosis (treatment success: serum CO2/L and Cl >96 mmol/L). Additionally, mean change in serum bicarbonate and chloride concentrations was assessed. Thirty-four patients met inclusion criteria, 19 patients received acetazolamide and 15 patients received arginine hydrochloride. Treatment success was similar in patients receiving acetazolamide and arginine hydrochloride (37% vs. 7%, P = 0.053). Correction of serum bicarbonate was observed in more patients treated with acetazolamide (42% vs. 7%, P = 0.047). Both groups had a similar increase in mean serum chloride concentration (5.7 ± 5.3 vs. 4.4 ± 4.4 mmol/L, P = 0.458). Mean decrease in serum bicarbonate concentration was equivalent between groups (5.6 ± 5.2 vs. 2.8 ± 4.7, mmol/L, P = 0.110). Acetazolamide and arginine hydrochloride appear to be equally effective in correcting metabolic alkalosis in critically ill pediatric patients.

Journal Title

American journal of therapeutics





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Acetazolamide; Alkalosis; Arginine; Bicarbonates; Carbon Dioxide; Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors; Child, Preschool; Chlorides; Critical Illness; Humans; Infant; Retrospective Studies; Treatment Outcome

Library Record