Effects of ephedrine on renal function in patients after major vascular surgery

L. Westman, B. Hamberger, P. O. Järnberg

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9 Scopus citations


The haemodynamic and renal effects of ephedrine were studied in 11 mechanically ventilated patients on the first day after major vascular surgery. Ephedrine, a sympathomimetic agent with alpha–1, beta–1, and beta–2 agonistic activity, was infused into 11 patients to achieve a 20% rise in systolic blood pressure. The doses used were 2–6 μg/kg/min, and in six of these 11 patients the dose was then doubled, 4–12 μg/kg/min for another renal function test. Blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output increased at both dose–ranges. Systolic pulmonary arterial pressure increased by 10% at the first dose–range. Systemic vascular resistance was unchanged and plasma catecholamine levels were unaltered in the present study. Plasma renin activity diminished by 18% and 6%, respectively. Clearance of para–aminohippuric acid increased by 20% and 6%, at the two dose–ranges, while clearance of inulin and urine flow rate increased by 24% and 29%, respectively, at the first dose–range, without further increase during the second dose–range. Fractional chloride excretion, and fractional osmolar clearance were unaltered. Fractional Na+ clearance rose by 30% and 36%, respectively. Fractional free water clearance diminished by 8% at the second dose–range. When comparing the two dose–ranges, HR, systolic and mean BP rose by 8%, 13% and 11%, respectively. Fractional K+ excretion diminished by 30%. We conclude that ephedrine given as a continuous infusion seems to have beneficial effects on renal function in patients after elective major vascular surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1988


  • Catecholamines
  • central hemodynamics
  • ephedrine
  • glomerular filtration rate
  • plasma renin activity
  • potassium excretion
  • renal plasma flow
  • urine flow rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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