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Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 1286–1296 | Cite as

Role of arginine vasopressin and terlipressin as first-line vasopressor agents in fulminant ovine septic shock

  • Sebastian Rehberg
  • Christian Ertmer
  • Gabriele Köhler
  • Hans-Ulrich Spiegel
  • Andrea Morelli
  • Matthias Lange
  • Katharina Moll
  • Katrin Schlack
  • Hugo Van Aken
  • Fuhong Su
  • Jean-Louis Vincent
  • Martin Westphal
Experimental

Abstract

Purpose

To compare the effects of first-line therapy with low-dose arginine vasopressin (AVP) or terlipressin (TP) on mesenteric blood flow, plasma AVP levels, organ function and mortality in ovine septic shock.

Methods

Twenty-four adult ewes were anesthetized and instrumented for chronic hemodynamic monitoring. A flow-probe was placed around the superior mesenteric artery, and feces were extracted from the cecum. Following baseline measurements, feces were injected into the peritoneal cavity. When mean arterial pressure (MAP) decreased to less than 60 mmHg, animals were randomly assigned to receive AVP (0.5 mU kg−1 min−1), TP (1 μg kg−1 h−1) or saline (n = 8 each). A norepinephrine infusion was titrated to maintain MAP at 70 ± 5 mmHg in all groups.

Results

Cardiovascular pressures, cardiac output, mesenteric blood flow, and lung tissue concentrations of 3-nitrotyrosine and hemoxygenase-1 were similar among groups throughout the study period. TP infusion resulted in lower plasma AVP concentrations, reduced positive net fluid balance, increased central venous oxygen saturation and slightly prolonged survival compared to control and AVP-treated animals. However, TP treatment was associated with higher liver transaminases and lactate dehydrogenase versus control animals after 12 h.

Conclusions

This study provides evidence that the effects of low-dose TP differ from those of AVP, not only as TP has a longer half life, but also because of different mechanisms of action. Although low-dose TP infusion may be superior to sole norepinephrine or AVP therapy in septic shock, the safety of this therapeutic approach should be determined in more detail.

Keywords

Sepsis Septic shock Arginine vasopressin Terlipressin First-line therapy Mesenteric blood flow 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Dr. med. Michael Erren (Department for Laboratory Medicine, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany) for the analyses of the plasma samples and Christina Großerichter as well as Jennifer Seisel (Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany) for expert technical assistance during the experiment. This study was supported by intramural funding. Haemopressin® was provided as a gift from Prof. Dr. Klaus Doehler, Curatis Pharma, Hanover, Germany.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplementary material

134_2009_1470_MOESM1_ESM.doc (20 kb)
Supplementary material (DOC 20 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Rehberg
    • 1
  • Christian Ertmer
    • 1
  • Gabriele Köhler
    • 2
  • Hans-Ulrich Spiegel
    • 3
  • Andrea Morelli
    • 4
  • Matthias Lange
    • 1
  • Katharina Moll
    • 1
  • Katrin Schlack
    • 1
  • Hugo Van Aken
    • 1
  • Fuhong Su
    • 5
  • Jean-Louis Vincent
    • 5
  • Martin Westphal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive CareUniversity Hospital of MuensterMuensterGermany
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of MuensterMuensterGermany
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of MuensterMuensterGermany
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive CareUniversity of Rome, “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of Intensive Care, Erasme HospitalUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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