Review ArticleMetabolic effects of vasoactive agentsTräger, Karla,b; Radermacher, Peterb; DeBacker, Danield; Vogt, Josefb; Jakob, Stephane; Ensinger, HermanncAuthor Information Departments of aPostoperative Intensive Care Medicine, bPathophysiology and Development in Anaesthesia and cSpecial Anaesthesia, Clinic for Anaesthesiology, University Medical School, D-89070 Ulm, Germany; dDepartment of Intensive Care, Erasme University Hospital, Free University of Brussels, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium; and eDepartment of Intensive Care, Inselspital Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland Correspondence to Peter Radermacher, MD, Professor of Anaesthesiology, Department of Pathophysiology and Development in Anaesthesia, Clinic for Anaesthesiology, University of Ulm, D-89070 Ulm, Germany. Tel; +49 731 500 25140; fax: +49 731 500 25143; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: April 2001 - Volume 14 - Issue 2 - p 157-163 Buy Abstract After adequate volume resuscitation, the mainstay of therapy in critically ill patients with shock is treatment with vasoactive substances to restore haemodynamics or to improve regional perfusion. These agents include adrenoceptor agonists with inotropic combined with either vasoconstricting or vasodilating effects, and predominantly vasodilating drugs such as prostacyclin and related compounds. However, vasoactive agents not only affect the cardiovascular system, but also have profound metabolic effects. The interdependence of vasoactive drugs with metabolism may be relevant regarding adequate oxygen and substrate delivery to cover actual organ needs. Therefore, the profiles of these metabolic effects have to be considered during their therapeutic administration. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.