[Vasodilatory septic shock refractory to catecholamines: is there a role for terlipressin?]

J L Fellahi, P Bénard, G Daccache, E Mourgeon, J L Gérard
Annales Françaises D'anesthèsie et de Rèanimation 2003, 22 (7): 631-4
We report two patients in vasodilatory septic shock refractory to catecholamines in which a continuous infusion of terlipressin was associated with a dramatic increase in systemic arterial blood pressure and short-term survival. Low doses of terlipressin were sufficient in both cases (0.01-0.0 mg h(-1)) to restore blood pressure by increase of systemic vascular resistances. The haemodynamic response was immediate, long-acting, dose-dependent and reversible in a few hours when the drug administration was stopped. A further increase in terlipressin dose regimen markedly decreased cardiac performance. Terlipressin simultaneously induced vasoconstriction within the cutaneous vascular territory, leading to local skin necrosis. The splanchnic vascular territory seemed to be constricted in the same way. Further studies are needed to better understand and precise the role of terlipressin in the treatment of vasodilatory septic shock refractory to catecholamines.

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