Indexed on: 02 Aug '07Published on: 02 Aug '07Published in: Shock (Augusta, Ga.)
Although arginine vasopressin and terlipressin have been identified as useful nonadrenergic agents to increase systemic blood pressure in catchecholamine-resistant septic shock, the impairments in cardiac index (CI) and global oxygen transport may limit their clinical applicability. The present study was designed as a prospective controlled laboratory experiment to investigate the effects of dobutamine as an adjunct to terlipressin infusion on cardiopulmonary hemodynamics and global oxygen transport in healthy and endotoxemic sheep. Nine adult ewes were instrumented for chronic study using an established protocol. After a baseline measurement in the healthy state had been performed, 1 mg terlipressin was given as bolus infusion. Thirty minutes later, dobutamine was continuously infused at incremental doses (2 and 5 microg x kg(1) x min(1), each for 1 h). After 24 h of recovery, a hypotensive-hyperdynamic circulation was induced and maintained by a continuous infusion of Salmonella typhosa endotoxin (10 ng x kg(1) x min(1)). After 16 h of endotoxemia, the six surviving sheep received terlipressin and dobutamine according to the same protocol that was used in healthy sheep. Compared with baseline, terlipressin infusion was associated with a significant increase in MAP that, however, occurred at the expense of a compromised CI, oxygen delivery index (DO(2)I), and mixed venous oxygen saturation (SvO(2), each P < 0.05). Dobutamine infusion was followed by a dose-dependent increase in CI, DO(2)I, and SvO(2) in both health and endotoxemia (each P < 0.05). Although the higher dosage of dobutamine exerted favorable effects, such as a decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance index (P < 0.05), the associated onset of tachycardia (P < 0.05) and arterial hypotension (P < 0.05) may limit its therapeutic use under septic conditions. This study provides evidence that dobutamine in a dosage of 2 microg x kg(1) x min(1) is useful to reverse the terlipressin-linked depressions in CI, DO(2)I and SvO(2) in ovine endotoxemia without obvious side effects.