Ernesto Guiraldes, Ximena Trivino, Guillermo Figueroa, Myriam Parker, Carmen Gutiérrez, Alicia Vásquez, Abdalla Harún

Comparison of an Oral Rice‐Based Electrolyte Solution and a Glucose‐Based Electrolyte Solution in Hospitalized Infants with Diarrheal Dehydration

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Summary: This randomized trial compared the efficacy of a rice‐based (50 g/L) oral rehydration solution with the standard glucose‐based WHO/UNICEF solution in the treatment of 100 hospitalized infants, ages 3–18 months, with acute dehydrating diarrhea. The main outcomes examined were stool output and duration of diarrhea. Patients were placed on a “metabolic” bed so that intake and losses could be measured accurately throughout the study. Overall, 89% of patients were successfully rehydrated orally; the rehydration failure rate was similar in the two groups and it was significantly associated with infection by specific E. coli serotypes. Stool output in the first 24 h was 11% lower in the rice group (112 versus 126 ml/kg), but this difference was not significant. Neither stool output in the second 24 h nor total stool output were different between groups. The median duration of diarrhea was 3.8 days in the rice group and 3.9 days in the glucose group (p = NS). Other (secondary) outcomes, such as fluid intake, urine output, emesis losses, weight change, and electrolyte balance were also similar between the two groups. Some evidence of carbohydrate malabsorption was detected in 61% of the rice group versus 45% of the glucose group (p = NS) and was not associated with any particular treatment outcome. These results show that a rice‐based oral rehydration solution is as efficacious as, but not better than the standard glucose‐based solution in the treatment of infants with acute dehydrating diarrhea not associated with cholera.

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