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Int J Clin Pract. 1998 Nov-Dec;52(8):533-6.

Low-dose dopamine infusion in cirrhosis with refractory ascites.

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Division of Hepato-Gastroenterology, Chang-Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan.


To investigate the effect of dopamine on the renal blood flow, five cirrhotic patients with refractory ascites but no hepatorenal syndrome were allocated to this study. Low-dose dopamine infusion at a rate of 2 micrograms/kg/min was undertaken at least for 24 hours. Effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) were measured by computerised nuclear scanning before and after dopamine infusion. The results revealed no difference in the changes of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, creatinine clearance, blood pressure, pulse rate, serum sodium, serum aldosterone and GFR despite insignificant increases in urine output and urinary sodium excretion after dopamine infusion. However, ERBF values before and after dopamine infusion were 288-311, 208-267, 418-442, 246-270 and 262-396 ml/min in these five patients respectively and showed significant increase (p < 0.01). Our study revealed that low-dose dopamine infusion could increase ERPF in cirrhotic patients with refractory ascites.

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