Vasopressin in hemorrhagic shock: Review article

Ravi R. Rajani, Chad G. Ball, David V. Feliciano, Gary A. Vercruysse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Trauma with resultant hypovolemic shock remains both prevalent and difficult to treat. Standard strategies using volume resuscitation and catecholamine support have historically yielded poor results. Vasopressin has emerged as a possible pharmacologic adjunct, particularly in patients with shock refractory to the administration of fluids and catecholamines. Much of the data regarding vasopressin is extrapolated from its usefulness in cases of nonhypovolemic human shock, which are supported by convincing animal studies. It is true that humans show a deficiency in vasopressin minutes after significant hemorrhage that can respond to administration of exogenous vasopressin. When given in physiological dosing regimens, vasopressin appears to be a safe adjunct to other therapy. Definite recommendations regarding indications for use, recommended dose, and long-term outcome in patients with hemorrhagic shock await a much needed prospective, randomized, controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1212
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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