Effect of dopamine infusion (3-30 μg/kg/min) on hepatic hemodynamics

Jeffrey A. Giullian, J. W. Marsh, O. K. Chung, James G. Drougas, J. Kelly Wright, William C. Chapman, K. Taylor Blair, Sue Ellen Barnard, Irene D. Feurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. While dopamine produces well-characterized dose-dependent effects on systemic hemodynamics, there is a paucity of information regarding its effects on hepatic hemodynamics. Infusion rates above 10 μg/kg/min are reported to produce significant vasoconstriction and impair organ perfusion. Therefore, donors are sometimes considered unsuitable when higher doses of dopamine are in use. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of increasing doses of dopamine on hepatic hemodynamics in a nonanesthetized swine model. Materials and methods. Sixteen pigs were instrumented with indwelling catheters in a peripheral artery, peripheral vein, portal vein, and hepatic vein and flow probes around the portal vein and hepatic artery. After recovery, the following variables were measured 10 ± 1 days postinstrumentation: hepatic arterial flow (HAF), portal venous flow (PVF), mean systemic arterial pressure (MAP), central venous pressure (CVP), portal venous pressure (PVP), hepatic venous pressure (HVP), heart rate (HR). Recordings were obtained at baseline and subsequently when dopamine was infused at rates of 3, 6, 12, 15, 21, and 30 μg/kg/min increasing at 1-h intervals. Results. HAF and PVF increased linearly over the entire infusion range, to 69 and 13% over baseline, respectively (P < 0.001, P < 0.05). Total hepatic blood flow rose 23% over baseline at the 30 μg/kg/min dosage (P < 0.01). MAP increased linearly 13% over the range 12 to 30 μg/kg/min (P < 0.001). CVP, HVP, and PVP did not change significantly. HR decreased from 12 to 15 μg/kg/min (P < 0.01), then increased from 15 to 30 μg/kg/min (P < 0.05). Conclusion. These data show that dopamine infused at dosages of 3-30 μg/kg/min augments HAF, PVF, and THBF and that this effect is linear. These results suggest high-dose dopamine infusion does not disqualify a potential donor liver for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Dopamine
  • Hepatic blood flow
  • Hepatic hemodynamics
  • Liver perfusion
  • Organ donor
  • Pig
  • Porcine


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