Siostrzonek P.  Koreny M.  Delle-Karth G.  Haumer M.  Koller-Strametz J.  Heinz G.  Milrinone therapy in catecholamine-dependent critically ill patients with heart failure. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica.  44(4):403-9, 2000.


    Because the PDE-III inhibitor milrinone improves hemodynamics in patients with heart failure, the authors examined whether therapy with milrinone is safe and effective in critically ill patients with catecholamine-dependent heart failure and whether treatment with milrinone facilitates weaning from prolonged catecholamine therapy.  Twenty adult patients with reduced left ventricular function and prolonged (7+/-4 days) catecholamine therapy in whom attempts at catecholamine weaning had failed were examined. Patients were prospectively randomized either to group A (addition of a fixed dose of 0.5 mcg/kg/min milrinone to catecholamine therapy) or to group B (continued catecholamine therapy without milrinone). Dobutamine and norepinephrine treatment and fluid intake were titrated according to predefined hemodynamic goals. Hemodynamic parameters, fluid requirements and catecholamine dose were monitored.  After 24 h of study treatment group A showed a significant increase in cardiac index (2.2+/-0.4 1 min(-1) x m(-2) to 2.7+/-0.51 min(-1) x m(-2); P<0.005), a decrease in systemic vascular resistance (1,427+/-609 dyn x s x cm(-5) to 951+/-184 dyn x s x cm(-5); P<0.005), required lower doses of dobutamine (5.9+/-4.2 mcg/kg/min) to 2.2+/-3.3 mcg/kg/min; P<0.02), but showed a tendency for higher vasoconstrictor (0.14+/-0.16 mcg/kg/min to 0.29+/-0.43 mcg/kg/min; P=n.s.) and fluid requirements (+1,404+/-2,257 ml/24 h to +2,508+/-1,873 ml/ 24 h; P=n.s.). No significant changes occurred in group B. Weaning from catecholamine therapy was more often achieved in group A and more milrinone treated patients were discharged alive from the ICU (80% vs. 30%; P<0.05).  The authors conclude that milrinone improves central hemodynamics and may facilitate weaning from prolonged catecholamine support in critically ill patients with heart failure. Its administration in this subset of critically ill patients is safe, but eventually is associated with additional vasoconstrictor and fluid requirements.