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Can J Anaesth. 2011 Apr;58(4):401-5. doi: 10.1007/s12630-011-9458-x. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

Prolonged methylene blue infusion in refractory septic shock: a case report.

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Department of Undergraduate Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.



Methylene blue (MB) has been advocated for the treatment of refractory hemodynamic instability in patients with septic shock. However, the use of MB infusions in septic shock is not considered standard treatment, and the available literature describes infusions of short duration, typically less than six hours.


We report a case of septic shock in a 67-yr-old male who required maximal vasopressor support with norepinephrine, epinephrine, and vasopressin. Despite standard protocols for the treatment of septic shock, the patient's hemodynamic status was refractory 80 hr post admission. However, initiation of a MB infusion resulted in the rapid restoration of hemodynamic stability and a subsequent decrease in vasopressor requirements. Multiple attempts to discontinue the MB infusion resulted in immediate and repeated increases in vasopressor requirements, necessitating a continuous infusion with a slow taper of MB for 120 hr. Ultimately, the patient survived the illness and was discharged home. We observed no adverse events that could be attributed to the use of MB.


In our patient, the use of MB resulted in hemodynamic stability unattained with standard vasopressor support. Further research is warranted on the use of MB in patients with septic shock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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