Deep dopamine extravasation injury: a case report

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2009 Jul;62(7):e222-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2008.11.064. Epub 2009 Jan 1.


We report the case of a 3-month-old girl with Down's syndrome, who sustained a deep and massive extravasation of dopamine, resulting in segmented, full-thickness skin necrosis and transient brachial plexus palsy of her left upper extremity. The patient was managed conservatively, including wound care, de-bridement of necrotic tissue, secondary wound healing and intensive physical therapy. The patient showed a satisfactory outcome with complete secondary closure of her wounds and full brachial plexus recovery after 1 year of follow-up. The mechanism of action of dopamine in the deep soft tissue, the difficulties of an adequate diagnosis of a deep dopamine extravasation and alternative treatments are presented in this article.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arm / surgery
  • Brachial Artery / surgery
  • Brachial Plexus
  • Cardiotonic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dopamine / adverse effects*
  • Extravasation of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Materials / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Necrosis / chemically induced
  • Necrosis / therapy
  • Paresis / chemically induced
  • Paresis / surgery
  • Recovery of Function
  • Surgical Wound Infection / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Dopamine