CIRCULATORY FAILURE may be further aggravated by the use of vasopressor amines in the management of shock.1 Reversible shock may be converted to an irreversible state, and treatment directed at blood pressure elevation utilizing these agents may result in multiple foci of necrosis in visceral organs in the absence of demonstrable vascular occlusion.2,3 The histories presented are of two patients in whom, after prolonged shock, ischemic necrosis of the liver, intestines, and spleen was found at autopsy. A concept of the development of these lesions is presented.
Report of Cases
A 46-yr-old female with established rheumatic mitral valvular disease entered Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital for a mitral valvuloplasty. Interpretation of a cardiac catheterization done 1 week prior to surgery indicated that she was suffering from severe mitral stenosis with mild insufficiency. Right-heart-catheterization data suggested tricuspid insufficiency and right-heart failure.A mitral commissurotomy was performed and
Haber MH, Brown WT, Schneider KA. Ischemic Necrosis of Multiple Organs in Prolonged Shock. JAMA. 1963;183(13):1107-1109. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700130023017