Objective: To investigate plasma concentrations of adrenomedullin in patients with septic shock and the potential association of these concentrations with relaxation of vascular tone.
Design: Prospective, case series.
Setting: Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Nara Medical University.
Patients: Twelve patients who fulfilled the clinical criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock (as defined by the Members of the American College of Chest Physicians/Society of Critical Care Medicine Consensus Conference Committee) and 13 healthy volunteers.
Interventions: Arterial blood samples were obtained via a 20-gauge cannula inserted into each patient's radial artery.
Measurements and main results: After extraction and purification, plasma adrenomedullin was measured by radioimmunoassay. Systemic vascular resistance index, pulmonary vascular resistance, cardiac index, and stroke volume index were determined with a thermodilution catheter. The mean plasma concentration of adrenomedullin was markedly higher in patients than in controls (226.1 +/- 66.4 [SEM] vs. 5.05 +/- 0.21 fmol/mL, p < .01). Moreover, these concentrations correlated significantly with cardiac index, stroke volume index, and heart rate values, and correlated significantly with decreases in diastolic blood pressure, systemic vascular resistance index, and pulmonary vascular resistance index values.
Conclusions: Enhanced production of adrenomedullin in patients with septic shock may contribute to reduced vascular tone, hypotension, or both. More data are needed to clarify the role of adrenomedullin in the regulation of vascular tone in this patient population.