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Anesthesiology. 2003 Jun;98(6):1338-44.

Terlipressin versus norepinephrine to correct refractory arterial hypotension after general anesthesia in patients chronically treated with renin-angiotensin system inhibitors.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire Pitié-Salpétrière, Paris, France.



Terlipressin, a precursor that is metabolized to lysine-vasopressin, has been proposed as a drug for treatment of intraoperative arterial hypotension refractory to ephedrine in patients who have received long-term treatment with renin-angiotensin system inhibitors. The authors compared the effectiveness of terlipressin and norepinephrine to correct hypotension in these patients.


Among 42 patients scheduled for elective carotid endarterectomy, 20 had arterial hypotension following general anesthesia that was refractory to ephedrine. These patients were the basis of the study. After randomization, they received either 1 mg intravenous terlipressin (n = 10) or norepinephrine infusion (n = 10). Beat-by-beat recordings of systolic arterial blood pressure and heart rate were stored on a computer. The intraoperative maximum and minimum values of blood pressure and heart rate, and the time spent with systolic arterial blood pressure below 90 mmHg and above 160 mmHg, were used as indices of hemodynamic stability. Data are expressed as median (95% confidence interval).


Terlipressin and norepinephrine corrected arterial hypotension in all cases. However, time spent with systolic arterial blood pressure below 90 mmHg was less in the terlipressin group (0 s [0-120 s] vs. 510 s [120-1011 s]; P < 0.001). Nonresponse to treatment (defined as three boluses of terlipressin or three changes in norepinephrine infusion) occurred in zero and eight cases (P < 0.05), respectively.


In patients who received long-term treatment with renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, intraoperative refractory arterial hypotension was corrected with both terlipressin and norepinephrine. However, terlipressin was more rapidly effective for maintaining normal systolic arterial blood pressure during general anesthesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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