A Retrospective Review of Angiotensin II Use in Adult Patients With Refractory Distributive Shock

J Intensive Care Med. 2020 Dec;35(12):1490-1496. doi: 10.1177/0885066619872720. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


Purpose: Catecholamines are first-line vasopressors for hemodynamic support in distributive shock but are associated with adverse effects, which may be mitigated with noncatecholamine vasopressors. Angiotensin II (ATII) is a noncatecholamine vasopressor recently approved for the management of distributive shock, but limited data support its clinical utility. The purpose of this study was to describe our institution's usage of ATII including patient outcomes (eg, response to therapy, safety profile).

Materials and methods: Patients who received ATII at our institution were included. Patient demographics, degree of concordance with institutional ATII use guidelines, safety profile of ATII, and response to therapy (1 and 3 hours after ATII initiation) were collected.

Results: A total of 16 patients received ATII for distributive shock. The median Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score at the time of ATII initiation was 16.5 (interquartile range: 15.8-20.0). Fourteen (87.5%) patients met institutional guidelines for ATII use; 10 (62.5%) and 8 (50.0%) patients met our definition for response at 1 and 3 hours, respectively. No patients developed thrombotic or infectious complications after receiving ATII.

Conclusions: In this cohort, ATII appears to be well tolerated in patients with a high predicted mortality. Future studies evaluating the clinical efficacy of ATII are needed to determine its role in the management of distributive shock.

Keywords: angiotensin II; critical care; distributive shock; septic shock.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiotensin II* / administration & dosage
  • Catecholamines
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shock*
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / therapeutic use


  • Catecholamines
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Angiotensin II