To describe the haemodynamic response of children who receive arginine vasopressin for haemodynamic instability after cardiac surgery and to identify clinical variables associated with a favourable response.
We reviewed patients less than or equal to 6 years undergoing open heart surgery in our institution between January, 2009 and July, 2010 who received arginine vasopressin during the first 7 days post operation. Favourable responders were defined as those in whom blood pressure was increased or maintained and catecholamine score was decreased, or blood pressure was increased by greater than or equal to 10% of baseline and catecholamine score was unchanged at 6 hours following arginine vasopressin initiation.
Of the 34 patients identified, 17 (50%) patients responded favourably to arginine vasopressin. At 6 hours, the mean blood pressure was increased by 32.2% in responders as compared with 4.6% in non-responders, with a p-value less than 0.001. The mean catecholamine score decreased by 30.1% in responders and increased by 7.6% in non-responders, with a p-value less than 0.001. Anthropometric, demographic, and intra-operative variables were similar in both groups, as was maximum dose of arginine vasopressin. The median time after arrival to the intensive care unit at which arginine vasopressin was initiated, however, was later in those who responded, 20 hours as compared with those who did not, 6 hours, with a p-value equal to 0.032.
Arginine vasopressin therapy led to haemodynamic improvement in only half of the children in this study, and improvement was more likely to occur if arginine vasopressin was initiated after the post-operative night.
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