Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Anesthesiology. 2002 Mar;96(3):576-82.

Beneficial effects of short-term vasopressin infusion during severe septic shock.

Author information

  • 1Department of Critical Care, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.



Septic shock is associated with vasopressin deficiency and a hypersensitivity to its exogenous administration. The goal of the current study was to determine whether short-term vasopressin infusion in patients experiencing severe septic shock has a vasopressor sparing effect while maintaining hemodynamic stability and adequate end-organ perfusion.


Patients experiencing septic shock that required high-dose vasopressor support were randomized to a double-blinded 4-h infusion of either norepinephrine (n = 11) or vasopressin (n = 13), and open-label vasopressors were titrated to maintain blood pressure. To assess end-organ perfusion, urine output and creatinine clearance, gastric mucosal carbon dioxide tension, and electrocardiogram ST segment position were measured.


Patients randomized to norepinephrine went from a median prestudy norepinephrine infusion of 20.0 microg/min to a blinded infusion of 17.0 mug/min at 4 h, whereas those randomized to vasopressin went from a median prestudy norepinephrine infusion of 25.0 microg/min to 5.3 microg/min at 4 h (P < 0.001). Mean arterial pressure and cardiac index were maintained in both groups. Urine output did not change in the norepinephrine group (median, 25 to 15 ml/h) but increased substantially in the vasopressin group (median, 32.5 to 65 ml/h; P < 0.05). Similarly, creatinine clearance did not change in the norepinephrine group but increased by 75% in the vasopressin group (P < 0.05). Gastric mucosal carbon dioxide tension and electrocardiogram ST segments did not change significantly in either group.


The authors conclude that short-term vasopressin infusion spared conventional vasopressor use and improved some measures of renal function in patients with severe septic shock.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk