This patient demonstrates that peripheral vascular ischemia and gangrene may complicate the use of intraarterial vasopressin in the absence of catheter-related phenomena such as microemboli or catheter dislodgement. Discontinuation of vasopressin effectively reverses ischemic changes. Sympathetic blocking agents or direct-acting vasodilators may accelerate the reversal of the vasopressin induced ischemia. In the patient with a history of previous extremity cold injury, vasopressin may precipitate severe ischemia or gangrene by its direct effect at the arteriolar level in an extremity with already increased sympathetic vascular tone. Peripheral circulatory status must be assessed frequently during vasopressin infusion especially in patients with a history of frostbite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas