Recent findings: Integrity of the endothelial surface layer (ESL) and ‘volume context’ are key determinants of fluid disposition. During critical illness the ESL is compromised. Optimal resuscitation may be guided by functional measures of fluid responsiveness with some caveats. The best approach may be to use physiologically balanced crystalloids for hypovolemic resuscitation and colloids for euvolemic hemodynamic augmentation.

Summary: The routine replacement of unmeasured presumed fluid deficits is not appropriate. In critically ill patients, resuscitation with intravenous fluids should produce a demonstrable enhancement of perfusion. Individualized goal-directed therapy using functional hemodynamic parameters can optimize resuscitation and ‘deresuscitation’.

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