We evaluated and compared the efficacy of the World Health Organization (WHO) oral rehydration solution (ORS) and 2 different formulations of reduced osmolarity ORSs in infants with persistent diarrhea.
Infants with persistent diarrhea (n = 95) were randomized to 1 of the 3 ORSs: WHO-ORS (control, n = 32), a glucose-based reduced osmolarity ORS (RORS-G, n = 30), or a rice-based reduced osmolarity ORS (RORS-R, n = 31) for replacement of ongoing stool losses for up to 7 days. Major outcome measures were stool volume and frequency, ORS intake, and resolution of diarrhea.
Although there were variations from one study day to another, the stool volume was approximately 40% less in the reduced osmolarity ORS groups; consequently, these children required less ORS (22% for RORS-G and 27% for RORS-R groups). A higher proportion of children in the RORS-R groups also had resolution of diarrhea during the study period. No children in any of the treatment groups had hyponatremia.
Reduced osmolarity ORS is clinically more effective than WHO-ORS and may thus be advantageous for use in the treatment of children with persistent diarrhea.