Changes in vasopressin use and outcomes in surgical intensive care unit patients with septic shock

M I Lupei, G J Beilman, J G Chipman, H J Mann
Chirurgia 2009, 104 (5): 575-81

INTRODUCTION: This study compares recent vasopressin use and outcomes to our early practice when vasopressin was introduced for septic shock.

METHODS: Charts of Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) patients receiving vasopressin for septic shock in 2005-2006 (05-06 cohort,) were retrospectively reviewed. Demographics, APACHE II, hemodynamic variables, and vasoactive drug data were compared to a similar 1999-2000 cohort (99-00 cohort). Statistical analysis included general linear model, Chi-square, t-test, and Cox-regression (p < 0.05 considered significant).

RESULTS: Thirty-one SICU patients in the 05-06 cohort and twenty patients in the 99-00 cohort met study criteria. Age, weight, gender, intensive care length of stay and vasopressin treatment duration were similar in the two groups. APACHE II (23 +/- 7 versus 34 +/- 9), baseline vasopressin dose (2.2 +/- 1.4 units/hour versus 5.3 +/- 6.7 units/hour), and SICU survival rate (45% versus 15%) significantly changed between the two time periods (p < 0.01). The mean arterial pressure increased significantly from baseline at all measured time points in both groups (p < 0.05). Vasopressin and dopamine doses were significantly lower in the 05-06 cohort versus the 99-00 cohort (p < 0.05). By Cox regression analysis the survival function adjusted for APACHE II was significantly different between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Vasopressin is recently used at lower doses and in less severe septic shock. Patients recently treated with vasopressin have a higher SICU survival rate than the survival rate when vasopressin was first introduced for septic shock.

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