Is there any role for terlipressin in the extremely low birth weight infant with refractory septic shock?

Francesca Bissolo, Carlo Alberto Forcellini, Stefania Spaggiari, Marcella Gaffuri, Giuseppe Pagano, Paolo Biban


Terlipressin, a synthetic long-acting analogue of vasopressin, has been investigated as a second line vasopressor in adults and children with refractory septic shock, i.e. not responding to fluid resuscitation and high-dose catecholamine administration. Little experience is available about the safety and efficacy of terlipressin in term and preterm newborns.

We report the case of an extremely low birth weight infant with severe septic shock, unresponsive to fluids, noradrenalin and hydrocortisone, in whom terlipressin was attempted as a rescue drug. Despite three doses of terlipressin, administered 6-hourly, the patient remained profoundly hypotensive and eventually died.

Further studies are required before any recommendation on the use of terlipressin in term or preterm newborns with septic shock can be made.


terlipressin; newborn; ELBW; extremely low birth weight; sepsis; shock

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