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J Mal Vasc. 2013 Feb;38(1):43-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jmv.2012.11.001. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Desmopressin-related myocardial infarction in a patient with Wegener's granulomatosis: a case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Dermatology department, hôpital Huriez, university hospital, 59037 Lille, France.


Desmopressin is a synthetic vasopressin analog that increases the plasma levels of coagulation factor VIII, von Willebrand factor, and tissue plasminogen activator. This hemostatic agent, which can be administered either parenterally or intranasally, has been approved for use in the prevention and treatment of hemorrhagic events during surgery in patients with hemophilia A, in cases of prolonged idiopathic bleeding, and for complications associated with platelet antiaggregant therapy. This case report describes cardiac toxicity associated with desmopressin administered according to the recommended indications: a 55-year-old woman diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) was treated with desmopressin to improve hemostasis and shorten bleeding time before a planned renal biopsy. She developed cardiac arrest within 60 minutes of the desmopressin injection. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation began immediately and was successful, although the patient subsequently died of WG-associated complications. Desmopressin administration thus appears, in some cases, to be associated with a high risk of thrombotic events, possibly by stimulating the rapid release of endothelial factors such as an abnormal multimeric form of von Willebrand factor, which might cause platelet aggregation. Clinicians should be aware of the possible occurrence of this little-known but potentially serious cardiac event associated with desmopressin administration and be prepared to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately if needed.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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