Impact of exogenous beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation on hepatosplanchnic oxygen kinetics and metabolic activity in septic shock

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ObjectiveTo investigate the impact of exogenous beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation on splanchnic blood flow, oxygen kinetics, glucose-precursor flux, and liver metabolism in septic shock.DesignProspective trial.SettingUniversity hospital intensive care unit.PatientsSix patients with hyperdynamic (cardiac index >4.0 L/min/m2) septic shock, all requiring norepinephrine to maintain blood pressure >65 mm Hg.InterventionsWe compared norepinephrine and phenylephrine titrated to achieve similar systemic hemodynamics and gas exchange. Splanchnic hemodynamics, oxygen kinetics, and metabolic parameters were measured before, during, and after replacing norepinephrine with phenylephrine.Measurements and Main ResultsSplanchnic blood flow and oxygen kinetics were derived from the steady-state indocyanine-green clearance based on hepatic dye extraction and arterial and hepatic venous blood gases. Endogenous glucose production rate was derived from the plasma appearance rate of stable-isotope-labeled glucose using a primed-constant infusion. Splanchnic lactate, alanine (high-performance liquid chromatography) uptake, and hepatic monoethylglycinexylidide (MEGX) (fluorescence polarization immunoassay) formation rates were calculated from splanchnic blood flow and arterial-hepatic venous concentration differences.Replacing norepinephrine with phenylephrine induced no change in systemic hemodynamics or gas exchange.While splanchnic oxygen consumption and alanine uptake rate remained unaffected, splanchnic blood flow, oxygen delivery, and lactate uptake rate were significantly decreased. Glucose production rate also decreased significantly. A return to norepinephrine restored splanchnic blood flow, oxygen delivery, and lactate uptake rate to baseline values, while glucose production rate remained depressed. Hepatic MEGX formation rate was not influenced during the investigation.ConclusionsExogenous beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation determines splanchnic blood flow, oxygen delivery, and glucose precursor flux but not splanchnic oxygen utilization in septic shock. Gluconeogenesis is not directly affiliated to hepatosplanchnic oxygen kinetics. The different response of glucose and MEGX production rates, metabolic pathways of the periportal and perivenous region, may document intrahepatic heterogeneity associated with hepatocellular metabollc compartmentation. (Crit Care Med 1999;27:325-331)

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