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Lancet. 2002 Nov 2;360(9343):1395-6.

Nitroglycerin in septic shock after intravascular volume resuscitation.

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Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


In patients with septic shock, oxygen consumption is increased, but oxygen delivery and extraction is impaired, partly because of microcirculatory shutdown and shunting. Orthogonal polarisation spectral (OPS) imaging allows visualisation of the microcirculation. We used this technique to assess microcirculatory flow in septic-shock patients who had a mean arterial blood pressure of more than 60 mm Hg and central venous pressure greater than 12 mm Hg. The infusion of 0.5 mg of nitroglycerin intravenously then resulted in a marked increase in microvascular flow on OPS imaging. Improved recruitment of the microcirculation could be a new resuscitation endpoint in septic shock.

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