Hypotensive resuscitation in patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm

K Roberts, M Revell, H Youssef, A W Bradbury, D J Adam
European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 2006, 31 (4): 339-44

BACKGROUND: The technique of hypotensive resuscitation in haemorrhagic shock involves resuscitation to below normotensive blood pressures achieving the minimum perfusion pressure that will adequately perfuse vital organs until definitive arrest of haemorrhage.

AIM: To summarise the evidence for the use of hypotensive resuscitation in patients with uncontrolled haemorrhagic shock and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

METHODS: A MEDLINE (1966-2004) and Cochrane library search for articles relating to hypotensive resuscitation was undertaken; see text for further details.

RESULTS: Several animal studies exist using an abdominal aortotomy model of ruptured AAA. These have demonstrated improved tissue perfusion, decreased blood loss and improved survival associated with hypotensive resuscitation compared with aggressive resuscitation. There are several human studies advocating delayed rather than immediate resuscitation in trauma patients but careful review of the literature reveals no prospective studies of hypotensive resuscitation in patients with ruptured AAA.

CONCLUSIONS: Animal studies demonstrate superiority of hypotensive resuscitation over aggressive resuscitation but further research is required to assess its efficacy in patients with ruptured AAA.

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