Angiotensin II Infusion for Shock: A Multicenter Study of Postmarketing Use

Patrick M. Wieruszewski, Erica D. Wittwer, Kianoush B. Kashani, Daniel R. Brown, Simona O. Butler, Angela M. Clark, Craig J. Cooper, Danielle L. Davison, Ognjen Gajic, Kyle J. Gunnerson, Rachel Tendler, Kristin C. Mara, Erin F. Barreto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Vasodilatory shock refractory to catecholamine vasopressors and arginine vasopressin is highly morbid and responsible for significant mortality. Synthetic angiotensin II is a potent vasoconstrictor that may be suitable for use in these patients. Research Question: What is the safety and effectiveness of angiotensin II and what variables are associated with a favorable hemodynamic response? Study Design and Methods: We performed a multicenter, retrospective study at five tertiary medical centers in the United States. The primary end point of hemodynamic responsiveness to angiotensin II was defined as attainment of mean arterial pressure (MAP) of ≥ 65 mm Hg with a stable or reduced total vasopressor dosage 3 h after drug initiation. Results: Of 270 included patients, 181 (67%) demonstrated hemodynamic responsiveness to angiotensin II. Responders showed a greater increase in MAP (+10.3 mm Hg vs +1.6 mm Hg, P < .001) and reduction in vasopressor dosage (−0.20 μg/kg/min vs +0.04 μg/kg/min; P < .001) compared with nonresponders at 3 h. Variables associated with favorable hemodynamic response included lower lactate concentration (OR 1.11; 95% CI, 1.05-1.17, P < .001) and receipt of vasopressin (OR, 6.05; 95% CI, 1.98-18.6; P = .002). In severity-adjusted multivariate analysis, hemodynamic responsiveness to angiotensin II was associated with reduced likelihood of 30-day mortality (hazard ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.35-0.71; P < .001). Arrhythmias occurred in 28 patients (10%) and VTE was identified in 4 patients. Interpretation: In postmarketing use for vasopressor-refractory shock, 67% of angiotensin II recipients demonstrated a favorable hemodynamic response. Patients with lower lactate concentrations and those receiving vasopressin were more likely to respond to angiotensin II. Patients who responded to angiotensin II experienced reduced mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-605
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • critical care
  • hypotension
  • refractory shock
  • vasodilatory shock
  • vasopressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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