The renal effects of low-dose dopamine in thermally injured patients

Theresa A. Graves, William G. Cioffi, George M. Vaughan, Laura Pratt, James D. Heironimus, William F. McManus, Basil A. Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The renal effects of low-dose dopamine (LDD) therapy in hyperdynamic thermally injured patients are unknown. We investigated the renal effects of LDD in ten burn patients (mean ± SEM age and %total body surface burned: 30.2 ± 3.3 years and 53.4% ± 7%) and six controls (mean age; 20.2 ± 0.5 years). Administration of LDD significantly increased glomerular filtration rate, effective renal plasma flow, sodium excretion, and urine flow in the controls and effective renal plasma flow, urine flow, heart rate, and cardiac index in the patients. The chronotropic effect of dopamine appears to be a principal contributor to the patients’ increased effective renal plasma flow. Sodium excretion was increased by LDD only in the patients in whom the predopamine sodium excretion exceeded 5 mEq/h. Lack of a consistent natriuretic effect and the consistent chronotropic effect suggest that the routine use of low-dose dopamine in bum patients is unwarranted. The side effects that attend the desired response determine clinical use, i.e., the potential for blood flow redistribution and increased cardiac work demands must be balanced against increased renal plasma flow and natriuresis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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