, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 21-23
Date: 18 Nov 2005

Vasopressin and splanchnic blood flow: vasoconstriction does not equal vasoconstriction in every organ

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Albeit V1a receptor agonists are currently proposed to treat vasodilatory shock [1], their use is still controversially discussed, because these compounds may induce excessive vasoconstriction in some vascular beds that is not counterbalanced by a positive inotropic effect. Since the splanchnic circulation is thought to play a pivotal role for the development of multiple organ dysfunction, assessing the effects of V1a agonists in this vascular bed is mandatory.

In this issue, Knotzer et al. [2] report the effects of an incremental vasopressin infusion in endotoxic pigs. The results have to be interpreted both within the limits of the experimental model as well as in the light of another recent publication of the same group reporting the effects of incremental doses of vasopressin in healthy non-endotoxic pigs [3]. The key findings of these two studies are that incremental vasopressin jeopardized the splanchnic circulation by decreasing jejunal mucosal microvascluar (µ)PO2 in non-endotox

This editorial refers to the article http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00134-005-2858-z.