Abstract 67: Vasopressin impairs Brain, Heart and Kidney Perfusion in Acute Heart Failure
Arginin Vasopressin (AVP) is increasingly used to restore mean arterial pressure (MAP) in various circulatory shock states including cardiogenic shock. This is potentially deleterious since AVP is also known to reduce cardiac output by increasing vascular resistance.
Aim: We hypothesized that restoring MAP by AVP improves vital organ blood flow in experimental acute cardiac failure.
Methods: Cardiac output (CO) and arterial blood flow to the brain, heart, kidney and liver were measured in nine pigs by transit-time flow probes. Heart function and contractility were measured using left ventricular Pressure-Volume catheters. Catheters in central arteries and veins were used for pressure recordings and blood sampling. Left ventricular dysfunction was induced by intermittent coronary occlusions, inducing an 18 % reduction in cardiac output and a drop in MAP from 87 ± 3 to 67 ± 4 mmHg.
Results: A low-dose therapeutic infusion of AVP (0.005 u/kg/min) restored MAP but further impaired systemic perfusion (CO and blood flow to the brain, heart and kidney reduced by 29, 18, 23 and 34 %, respectively). The reduced blood flow was due to a 2.0, 2.2, 1.9 and 2.1 fold increase in systemic, brain, heart and kidney specific vascular resistances, respectively. Contractility remained unaffected by AVP. The hypoperfusion induced by AVP was most likely responsible for observed elevated plasma lactate levels and an increased systemic oxygen extraction. Oxygen saturation in blood drawn from the great cardiac vein fell from 31 ± 1 to 22 ± 3 % dropping as low as 10 % in one pig. Finally, these effects were reversed forty minutes after weaning the pigs form the drug.
Conclusion: The pronounced reduction in coronary blood flow point to a potentially deleterious effect in postoperative cardiac surgical patients and in patients with coronary heart disease. Also, this is the first study to report a reduced cerebral perfusion by AVP.