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Critical Care  2010 

Epinephrine: Is it really the black sheep of vasoactive agents?

DOI: 10.1186/cc8998

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Edited by Eric B Milbrandt. University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care MedicineAnnane D, Vignon P, Renault A, Bollaert PE, Charpentier C, Martin C, Troche G, Ricard JD, Nitenberg G, Papazian L, Azoulay E, Bellissant E: Norepinephrine plus dobutamine versus epinephrine alone for management of septic shock: a randomised trial. Lancet 370:676-684 [1].International guidelines for management of septic shock recommend that dopamine or norepinephrine are preferable to epinephrine. However, no large comparative trial has yet been done.To compare the efficacy and safety of norepinephrine plus dobutamine (whenever needed) with those of epinephrine alone in septic shock.Prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blind study.19 participating intensive care units in France.330 adult patients with septic shock. Inclusion criteria were the presence for less than 7 days of: evidence of infection; at least 2 of the 4 criteria of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS); and at least two signs of tissue hypoperfusion or organ dysfunction. Additionally, subjects had to have had to meet the three following criteria for less than 24 hours: systolic blood pressure less than 90 mm Hg or mean BP less than 70 mm Hg; administration of fluid bolus of at least 1000 mL or capillary wedge pressure between 12 and 18 mm Hg; and need for more than 15 μg per kg bodyweight per min of dopamine or any dose of epinephrine or norepinephrine. Specific exclusion criteria were established to ensure other causes of shock were excluded.Participants were assigned to receive epinephrine (n = 161) or norepinephrine plus dobutamine (n = 169), which were titrated to maintain mean blood pressure at 70 mm Hg or more.The primary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality. The secondary outcomes were survival distribution from randomization to day 90; mortality rates at day 7, 14, at discharge from intensive care and from hospital, and at day 90; systemic hemodynamics; arterial pH and lactate; SOFA score

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