Although nearly 10% of patients experience profound vasodilatory shock after cardiopulmonary bypass, some patients remain refractory to traditional resuscitation. Among this subset are patients who have inappropriately low levels of endogenous vasopressin. Thus, vasopressin replacement is an intuitively attractive intervention. The purposes of this review are to outline the pathophysiology of vasodilatory shock after cardiopulmonary bypass, to discuss the physiological role of endogenous vasopressin, to explore the clinical basis for vasopressin replacement, and to review the pharmacology and dosing guidelines.
Copyright © 2002 by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses