Hemodynamic and metabolic responses to hormonal therapy in brain-dead potential organ donors

Transplantation. 1987 Jun;43(6):852-4.


An evaluation of the beneficial effects of hormonal therapy, consisting of T3 2 micrograms, cortisol 100 mg, and insulin 20 units, administered at hourly intervals intravenously, was assessed in brain-dead patients referred for organ donation. Twenty-six conventionally treated donors (group A) showed a progressive hemodynamic deterioration requiring significant increments of inotropic support in order to maintain cardiovascular stability, necessitating a significant increase in bicarbonate requirements in order to maintain a normal acid-base balance. Of this group, 20% of the donors were considered unsuitable as cardiac donors due to progressive cardiovascular deterioration or sudden ventricular fibrillation. Hormonal therapy was administered to 21 donors (group B) resulting in a significant improvement of cardiovascular status, requiring less inotropic support and significantly less bicarbonate. A significant reduction of serum lactate-pyruvate followed the initiation of the hormonal therapy. In group B, organs from all donors (heart, heart and lungs, and kidneys) were suitable for transplantation, with excellent organ function following implantation of the graft.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Death*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Organ Preservation*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Triiodothyronine / therapeutic use*


  • Insulin
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Hydrocortisone