Restoration of adequate tissue perfusion is the goal of resuscitation in septic shock. A growing understanding of microcirculatory dysfunction in sepsis led to a change in resuscitation practice away from targeting arterial and central venous pressures and towards tissue perfusion-guided protocols. This change in the approach to resuscitation was accompanied by a change in the role of vasoconstrictors. This review summarizes the pathophysiological and therapeutic mainstays of septic shock resuscitation and attempts to critically evaluate the scientific evidence on the use of vasopressin as a non-adrenergic vasoconstrictor in septic shock. Based on the published study results vasopressin appears to be of potential benefit in adult patients with moderate septic shock (norepinephrine requirements < 15 μg/min) and lacking signs of systemic hypoperfusion (e.g. normal arterial lactate levels). A vasopressin infusion with the sole target to increase arterial blood pressure despite the presence of systemic hypoperfusion is dangerous and can result in a critical deterioration of tissue perfusion.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Regional Blood Flow/drug effects
Shock, Septic/drug therapy*
Vasoconstrictor Agents/therapeutic use*
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)Microcirculation