Vasopressin: Titratable Doses? Monotherapy in Septic shock?

This is what I love about the community in social media. We all just push each other to be better. Rishi posted today about titratable Vasopressin and, me being the data junky that I am wanting to know every study I could possibly know under the sun, had two studies in my back pocket ready to share with everyone. I was planning on sharing this study with you all further down the road but, Rishi indirectly pushed me so here I am sharing this article with you all rather than going out for a run. No, there’s no one study where they just looked at titratable vasopressin.

What this study does show us, though, is that the authors used vasopressin as a titratable medication as well as a mono therapy medication (that means not just adding it to norephinephrine when it reaches X dose. Studies like this indirectly guide us to what can and can’t be done moving forward in medicine. If you get into trouble with a patient, one can justify it by saying “the VANISH study showed that it’s safe to use it in this manner”. I’m always worried about the lawyers, I’m not going to lie.

The goodies in this article and what I want you to focus on today is not necessarily the conclusions of the article nor all the subgroup analysis, but rather I want you to look at the methods on how they performed the study.

Patients were able to receive titratable doses of vasopressin up to 0.06U/min. That means that they were able to exceed the 0.04U/min you and I use every day.

They also titrated to a MAP of 65 or 75. Note that they did not use a systolic blood pressure. I have covered why you shouldn’t do that unless you have an arterial line on youtube and here in the past.

The MAP of 75 is also important because there’s data that higher MAP’s in patients with chronic hypertension is better for them. I see shops where the MAP goal is 60 and that’s just plain stupid and only acceptable on a case by case scenario.

Patients in this study received vasopressin as monotherapy for septic shock and it did not cause issues.

There is much to be said about the methodology of this trial which I am not going to get into today. I’ll be here forever. Instead, you can hear me take it apart live in Hawaii in May 2020.

A hat tip to the authors.

– EJ

Citation Showing That Vasopressin is Titratable

Gordon AC, Mason AJ, Thirunavukkarasu N, Perkins GD, Cecconi M, Cepkova M, Pogson DG, Aya HD, Anjum A, Frazier GJ, Santhakumaran S, Ashby D, Brett SJ; VANISH Investigators. Effect of Early Vasopressin vs Norepinephrine on Kidney Failure in Patients With Septic Shock: The VANISH Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016 Aug 2;316(5):509-18. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.10485. PMID: 27483065.
Link to Article


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