Noradrenaline vs. terlipressin in the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome: a randomized study

J Hepatol. 2012 Jun;56(6):1293-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Feb 6.


Background & aims: Various vasoconstrictors are useful in the management of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Terlipressin is the drug of choice; however, it is expensive. In this study, we evaluated safety and efficacy of terlipressin and noradrenaline in the treatment of HRS.

Methods: Forty-six patients with HRS type 1 were managed with terlipressin (group A, N=23) or noradrenaline (Group B, N=23) with albumin in a randomized controlled trial at a tertiary center.

Results: HRS reversal could be achieved in 9 (39.1%) patients in group A and 10 (43.4%) patients in group B (p=0.764). Univariate analysis showed baseline Child Turcotte Pugh score (CTP), model of end stage liver disease (MELD), urine output on day 1(D1), albumin, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were associated with response. However, on multivariate analysis only CTP score was associated with response. Fourteen patients in group A and 12 in group B died at day 15 (p>0.05). Noradrenaline was less expensive than terlipressin (p<0.05). No major adverse effects were seen.

Conclusions: The results of this randomized study suggest that noradrenaline is as safe and effective as terlipressin, but less expensive in the treatment of HRS and baseline CTP score is predictive of response.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / blood
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Hepatorenal Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lypressin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Lypressin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / therapeutic use*
  • Terlipressin


  • Lypressin
  • Terlipressin
  • Norepinephrine