Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Crystalloid Liberal or Vasopressors Early Resuscitation in Sepsis (CLOVERS)

Note that you will be prompted to log in or register an account

Accession Number

Study Type
Clinical Trial

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period
March 2018 - January 2023

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
November 8, 2023


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No

Commercial Use Specimen Restrictions Yes

Non-Genetic Use Specimen Restrictions Based On Area Of Use No

Genetic Use Of Specimens Allowed? Yes, For Some Specimens

Genetic Use Area Of Research Restrictions Yes

Specific Consent Restrictions
Use of specimens in non-genetic research is unrestricted. Use of specimens in genetic research is tiered with respect to ARDS-related research and research related to other medical conditions. Specimens may not be used directly to produce commercial products.


To compare the effects of a restrictive fluid strategy (with early use of vasopressors) to a liberal fluid strategy in patients with sepsis-induced hypotension.


Intravenous fluid resuscitation is a common therapy used in the initial treatment of patients with septic shock and sepsis-induced hypotension. The goal of initial fluid therapy is to increase depleted or functionally reduced intravascular volume that occurs in sepsis due to a vasodilated vascular network. However, intravenous fluid resuscitation can create dilutional coagulopathy, fluid overload, and pathogenic edema in the lungs and other organs. Vasopressor agents are also commonly used to treat hypoperfusion by inducing constriction of arterioles and venules and increasing cardiac contractility. Vasopressor therapy also comes with risks that include vasoconstriction resulting in tissue ischemia, increased cardiac workload, and arrhythmias. Clinicians have used these strategies, typically in combination, to provide supportive care for patients with sepsis-induced hypoperfusion. However, at the time of the CLOVERS study, there was limited data to guide specific use of these therapies, including fluid volumes, in the early care of patients with sepsis-induced hypotension. The CLOVERS study hypothesized that a restrictive fluid strategy used during the first 24-hours of resuscitation for sepsis-induced hypotension would lead to lower mortality before discharge home by day 90 than a liberal fluid strategy.


Adult patients (>18 years of age) with a suspected or confirmed infection (broadly defined as the administration or planned administration of antibiotic agents) and sepsis-induced hypotension (systolic blood pressure, <100 mm Hg after the administration of ≥1000 ml of intravenous fluid) were eligible. Key exclusion criteria were an elapse of more than 4 hours since the meeting of the criteria for hypotension refractory to the intravenous administration of at least 1000 ml of fluid, an elapse of more than 24 hours since presentation at the hospital, previous receipt of more than 3000 ml of intravenous fluid during this episode (including prehospital administration of fluid by emergency medical services), the presence of fluid overload, and severe volume depletion from non-sepsis causes.

A total of 1563 patients, from 60 medical centers, of the planned 2,230 participants were enrolled, with 782 assigned to the restrictive fluid group and 781 to the liberal fluid group. Enrollment in the trial was ended after the second interim analysis due to a lack of significant difference observed between the two 24-hour strategies.


This study was a multi-center, prospective, phase 3 randomized non-blinded interventional trial of fluid treatment strategies in the first 24 hours for patients with sepsis-induced hypotension. Participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to either a restrictive fluid strategy (with early vasopressor use) or a liberal fluid strategy. In each group, the assigned protocol was followed for a period of 24 hours. The restrictive fluid protocol prioritized vasopressors as the primary treatment for sepsis-induced hypotension, with “rescue fluids” being permitted for prespecified indications that suggested severe intravascular volume depletion. The liberal fluid protocol consisted of a recommended initial 2000-ml intravenous infusion of isotonic crystalloid, followed by fluid boluses administered on the basis of clinical triggers (e.g., tachycardia) with “rescue vasopressors” permitted for prespecified indications. A protocol amendment implemented in October 2019 allowed for limiting the initial infusion to 1000 ml if the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate had stabilized and the clinical assessment was that the patient was unlikely to benefit from additional intravenous fluid administration. The clinical team could override the protocol-specified care instructions at any time if it was judged to be in the best interest of the patient.

The primary outcome was death from any cause before discharge home by day 90. Secondary outcomes included 28-day measures of the number of days free from ventilator use, days free from renal-replacement therapy, days free from vasopressor use, days out of the ICU, and days out of the hospital.


Among patients with sepsis-induced hypotension, the restrictive fluid strategy that was used in this trial did not result in significantly lower (or higher) mortality, or other measures of recovery such as length of hospital stay, before discharge home by day 90 than the liberal fluid strategy.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury Clinical Trials Network; Shapiro NI, Douglas IS, Brower RG, Brown SM, Exline MC, Ginde AA, Gong MN, Grissom CK, Hayden D, Hough CL, Huang W, Iwashyna TJ, Jones AE, Khan A, Lai P, Liu KD, Miller CD, Oldmixon K, Park PK, Rice TW, Ringwood N, Semler MW, Steingrub JS, Talmor D, Thompson BT, Yealy DM, Self WH. Early Restrictive or Liberal Fluid Management for Sepsis-Induced Hypotension. N Engl J Med. 2023 Feb 9;388(6):499-510. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2212663. Epub 2023 Jan 21. PMID: 36688507.

Please note that researchers must be registered on this site to submit a request, and you will be prompted to log in. If you are not registered on this site, you can do so via the Request button. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Resources Available

Specimens and Study Datasets

Materials Available

  • Plasma
  • Whole Blood

Study Documents

Persons using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in the study documents. For assistance, Contact BioLINCC and include the web address and/or publication title in your message. If you need help accessing information in different file formats such as PDF, XLS, DOC, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.