Reversal of type 1 hepatorenal syndrome with the administration of midodrine and octreotide

Hepatology. 1999 Jun;29(6):1690-7. doi: 10.1002/hep.510290629.


The aim of the study was to verify the effects of the administration of an inhibitor of the release of endogenous vasodilators together with a vasoconstrictor agent in patients with hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). This new medical perspective was compared with a traditional medical approach for HRS, such as the infusion of nonpressor doses of dopamine to produce renal vasodilation. Thirteen patients with type 1 HRS were enrolled in the study. Five of them were treated with the oral administration of midodrine and the parenteral administration of octreotide. In addition, the patients received 50 to 100 mL of 20% human albumin solution daily for 20 days. Midodrine and octreotide were dosed to obtain a stable increase of at least 15 mm Hg of mean arterial pressure. Eight patients were treated with the intravenous administration of nonpressor doses of dopamine (2-4 micrograms/kg/min) and the same daily amount of albumin. After 20 days of treatment with midodrine and octreotide, an impressive improvement in renal plasma flow (RPF), glomerular filtration rate, and urinary sodium excretion was observed in patients. This was accompanied by a significant reduction in plasma renin activity, plasma vasopressin, and plasma glucagon. No side effects were observed. Three patients were discharged from the hospital. One of them successfully underwent liver transplantation. One of the two remaining patients is still alive after 472 days with a preserved renal function, and the other died from terminal liver failure after 76 days. One of the two patients who were not discharged from the hospital successfully underwent liver transplantation, and the other died from pneumonia after 29 days. Seven out of eight patients who were treated with dopamine experienced a progressive deterioration in renal function and died during the first 12 days. Only one patient recovered renal function and underwent liver transplantation. In conclusion, the long-term administration of midodrine and octreotide seems to be an effective and safe treatment of type 1 HRS in patients with cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Ascites
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Diuresis / drug effects
  • Electrolytes / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Hepatitis B / complications
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / blood
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Midodrine / therapeutic use*
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use*
  • Renal Circulation / drug effects
  • Renin / blood
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Electrolytes
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Aldosterone
  • Midodrine
  • Renin
  • Octreotide