Vasopressin, not octreotide, may be beneficial in the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome: A retrospective study

Tyree H. Kiser, Douglas N. Fish, Marilee D. Obritsch, Rose Jung, Robert MacLaren, Chirag R. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background. Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a severe complication of cirrhosis and is associated with high mortality. Ornipressin and terlipressin are effective in treatment of HRS, but are not available in the USA. The efficacy of vasopressin (AVP) and octreotide (OCT) infusions, commonly utilized in the USA, in the treatment of HRS is unknown. This study aims to evaluate the effects of AVP and OCT on renal function, systemic haemodynamics and clinical outcomes in HRS. Methods. This observational study evaluated patients receiving AVP or OCT therapy for HRS from January 2000 to December 2003. Recovery from HRS was defined as a decrease in the serum creatinine (SCr) to a value ≤1.5mg/dl. Results. Forty-three patients were identified: Eight received AVP, 16 received OCT and 19 received both AVP and OCT. Patients who received AVP alone or in combination with OCT had significantly greater recovery rates than those receiving OCT monotherapy (42 vs 38 vs 0%, respectively, P=0.01). The average time to response in serum creatinine (SCr) was 7± 2 days. The mean AVP doses were 0.23±0.19 U/min in patients demonstrating clinical response. Therapy with AVP was an independent predictor of recovery (odds ratio 6.4, 95% confidence interval 1.3-31.8). Patients who responded to therapy had significantly lower mortality (23 vs 67%, P=0.008) and higher rates of liver transplantation (23 vs 0%, P=0.005). No adverse effects related to AVP therapy were observed. Conclusion. When compared with OCT, HRS patients treated with AVP had significantly higher recovery rates, improved survival and were more likely to receive a liver transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1813-1820
Number of pages8
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute renal failure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Dopamine
  • Mortality
  • Recovery
  • Response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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