Intravenous infusions of either dopamine, vasopressin, or simultaneous dopamine and vasopressin were administered to normal adult mongrel dogs, and the effect on systemic and portal hemodynamics monitored. Dopamine increased superior mesenteric artery blood flow and portal venous pressure. Because of this portal hypertensive effect, dopamine should not be given to patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Dopamine administered with vasopressin failed to protect against a reduction in cardiac output, and completely reversed the portal hypotensive effect of vasopressin. Isoproterenol remains the drug of choice for offsetting the adverse hemodynamic effects of vasopressin administration.
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