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Anesthesiology. 1991 Oct;75(4):571-6.

Effect of intraoperative low-dose dopamine on renal function in liver transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75246.


Patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation frequently receive dopamine infusions to preserve renal function. To test the benefit of such infusions on renal function, 48 nonanuric patients presenting for OLT were entered into a randomized double-blind protocol. After exclusion of 1 patient for intraoperative nephrectomy, 22 patients received dopamine at a rate of 3 micrograms.kg-1.min-1 during surgery and the first postoperative 48 h, and a control group of 25 patients received saline. Venovenous bypass was used in 45 of 47 patients. During the hepatic vascular anastomoses, the donor liver was flushed with cold saline. In 7 patients, the flush contained mannitol (50 g) as part of a surgical protocol to investigate its role as a potential free radical scavenger. Initially, it appeared that there was an increase in urine output during the neohepatic phase in those patients receiving dopamine versus controls (4.20 +/- 3.3 vs 2.10 +/- 1.3 ml.kg-1.h-1, respectively). Upon further statistical analysis, this increase was associated with inclusion of mannitol in the liver flush of 5 patients in the dopamine group. After excluding all patients receiving flush containing mannitol, there was no significant difference in urine output during the neohepatic phase between the dopamine group and controls (2.94 +/- 0.45 and 2.10 +/- 0.28 ml.kg-1.h-1, respectively). The glomerular filtration rates at 1 month after surgery were similar and decreased approximately 40% in each group. Although a beneficial effect of dopamine in all situations cannot be ruled out the authors conclude that routine perioperative use of dopamine is of little value in nonanuric patients presenting for orthotopic liver transplantation.

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