The Effects of Vasopressin on Systemic Hemodynamics in Catecholamine-Resistant Septic and Postcardiotomy Shock: A Retrospective Analysis

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We retrospectively investigated the effects of continuous arginine vasopressin (AVP) infusion on systemic hemodynamics, acid/base status, and laboratory variables in patients (mean age [mean ± sd]= 66.3 ± 10.1 yr) with catecholamine-resistant septic (n = 35) or postcardiotomy shock (n = 25). Hemodynamic and acid/base data were obtained before; 30 min after; and 1, 4, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h after the start of AVP infusion. Laboratory examinations were recorded before and 24, 48, and 72 h after the start of AVP infusion. For statistical analysis, a mixed-effects model was used. The overall intensive care unit mortality was 66.7%. AVP administration caused a significant increase in mean arterial pressure (+29%) and systemic vascular resistance (+56%), accompanied by a significant decrease in heart rate (−24%) and mean pulmonary arterial pressure (−11%) without any change in stroke volume index. Norepinephrine requirements could be reduced by 72% within 72 h. During AVP infusion, a significant increase in liver enzymes and total bilirubin concentration and a significant decrease in platelet count occurred. Arginine vasopressin was effective in reversing systemic hypotension. However, adverse effects on gastrointestinal perfusion and coagulation cannot be excluded.

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