Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 671–675 | Cite as

Use of milrinone in cardiac surgical patients

  • Kathleen M. Sherry
  • Timothy J. Locke
Short-Term Inotropic Support—Section 2


Milrinone is shown in 10 patients to be a valuable pharmacological bridge to heart transplantation; it can stabilize and improve decompensated chronic heart failure (CHF) in cases where the response to beta-agonists is inadequate. One patient who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction with heart failure resistant to vasodilators, beta-agonists, and balloon counterpulsation was stabilized with milrinone for 21 days. He was then maintained on ACE inhibitors until heart transplantation 3 months later. The other nine patients with severe decompensated CHF were stabilized on milrinone for between 11 and 51 days. Seven of them received a donor heart. Two patients died of bacteremic shock and terminal heart failure before a suitable organ could be found (31 and 51 days). All patients were clinically improved within 48 hours of the addition of IV milrinone to their therapy. In 55 patients following cardiac surgery, the efficacy and safety of milrinone in the treatment of low cardiac output states is demonstrated. Milrinone has a useful role in the management of patients with circulatory failure both before and after cardiac surgery, and this paper reviews the relevant current literature.

Key Words

phosphodiesterase III inhibitors milrinone chronic heart failure cardiac surgery 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen M. Sherry
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Locke
    • 1
  1. 1.The Northern General HospitalSheffieldUK

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