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Shock. 1996 Apr;5(4):241-6.

The effect of methylprednisolone on myocardial beta-adrenergic receptors and cardiovascular function in shock patients.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Nippon Medical School, Tama-Nagayama Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


The effect of methylprednisolone on the myocardial beta-adrenergic receptors after long term ( > 72 h) catecholamine infusion was studied. In 56 patients with pulmonary arterial catheter, 10 mg/kg of methylprednisolone was given as an intravenous bolus. Significant increases could be seen in cardiac output and blood pressure in patients who were simultaneously treated with vasopressors like dopamine and/or dobutamine. In patients who were on dopamine infusion higher than 10 micrograms/kg/min methylprednisolone there was an increase in the systemic vascular resistance. Patients who were not on vasopressors but received methylprednisolone, had no similar changes in hemodynamic parameters. In an in vitro analysis of tissue from the myocardium in 12/56 patients who succumbed and in four additional patients who expired after multiple trauma, a beta-adrenergic receptor assay was performed. It was found that the long term infusion of catecholamines decreased the receptor number and the methylprednisolone abolished or caused the decrease to be less pronounced. In this study we could not control the selection of the patients; a randomized study needs to be conducted in the future.

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