Effect of low-dose vasopressin infusion on vital organ blood flow in the conscious normal septic sheep

D. Di Giantomasso, H. Morimatsu, Rinaldo Bellomo, C. N. May

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of low-dose vasopressin (AVP) on vital regional circulations may be clinically relevant but has not been fully described. We sought to determine the effect of low-dose AVP on systemic haemodynamics, coronary, mesenteric and renal circulations in the conscious normal and septic mammal. We studied seven Merino sheep using a prospective randomized cross-over double-blind placebo-controlled animal design. We inserted flow probes around aorta, coronary, mesenteric and renal arteries and, three weeks later, we infused low-dose AVP (0.02 IU/min) or placebo in the normal and septic state induced by intravenous E.coli. In normal sheep, AVP (0.02 IU/min) induced a 17% decrease in mesenteric blood flow (393.0±134.9 vs 472.1±163.8 ml/min, P<0.05) and a 14% decrease in mesenteric conductance (P<0.05). In septic sheep, AVP decreased heart rate and cardiac output by 28% and 22%, respectively (P<0.05). It also decreased mesenteric blood flow and mesenteric conductance by 23% (flow: 468.5±159.7 vs 611.3±136.3 ml/min, P<0.05; conductance: 6.3±2.7 vs 8.2±2.7 ml/min/mmHg; P<0.05). Renal blood flow was unchanged but urine output and creatinine clearance increased (P <0.05). We conclude that low-dose AVP infusion has similar effects in the normal and septic mammalian circulation: bradycardia, decreased cardiac output, decreased mesenteric blood flow and conductance and increased urine output and creatinine clearance. This information is important to clinicians considering its administration in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronary blood flow
  • Creatinine clearance
  • Mesenteric blood flow
  • Renal blood flow
  • Sepsis
  • Septic shock
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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