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Use of pressor therapy in 34 hypotensive critically ill neonatal foals



Background  Arginine vasopressin (AVP) is used in human medicine in the management of vasodilatory shock and cardiac arrest, but it is not widely used in equine neonatal intensive care because of concerns about potential side effects and suboptimal efficacy. This retrospective study reports the clinical use of AVP and norepinephrine (NE) in foals with refractory hypotension.

Objectives  To report the cardiovascular responses and fluid balance in critically ill, hypotensive foals receiving either NE or AVP.

Design  The medical records of neonatal foals (<7 days of age) from 2000 to 2007 admitted to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center were reviewed.

Results  The use of exogenous AVP infusion was associated with a significant increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and urinary output, and a significant decrease in heart rate. NE administration was also associated with a significant increase in MAP.

Conclusions  The findings of this first report of the clinical treatment of foals with refractory hypotension support the use of AVP and NE.