Norepinephrine for hypotensive vasodilatation after cardiac surgery: Impact on renal function

Hiroshi Morimatsu, Shigehiko Uchino, John Chung, Rinaldo Bellomo, Jai Raman, Brian Buxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Norepinephrine use in patients after cardiac surgery is controversial because of the fear that norepinephrine might decrease kidney function through regional vasoconstriction. Accordingly, we studied the renal effects of norepinephrine use for hypotensive vasodilatation after cardiac surgery. Design and setting: Retrospective controlled study in the cardiothoracic ICU of tertiary hospital. Patients: 100 cardiac surgery patients with post-operative hypotensive vasodilatation and 100 control cardiac surgery patients. Intervention: Treatment of hypotension (MAP<70 mmHg) with continuous norepinephrine infusion. Measurements and results: We collected data on demographic and surgical characteristics, haemodynamics, serum creatinine and mortality. Just after surgery the norepinephrine group had a significantly higher mean central venous pressure, lower mean arterial pressure, and lower systemic vascular resistance index with a similarly elevated mean cardiac index. Despite norepinephrine administration at a mean peak dose of 7.3±6.4 μg/min the mean post-operative change in creatinine was not different between two groups on days 0, 2 or 4 after surgery. Conclusions: Norepinephrine does not increase post-operative serum creatinine concentrations in patients with hypotensive vasodilatation after cardiac surgery. Concerns related to its potential adverse effects on the kidney function in this setting appear unjustified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1112
Number of pages7
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute renal failure
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Creatinine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Norepinephrine for hypotensive vasodilatation after cardiac surgery: Impact on renal function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this