The recent advances in the understanding of the mechanism of shock and its treatment have improved the prognosis of patients in this condition. Nevertheless, the treatment leaves much to be desired. Recent contributions to the study of irreversible shock, as well as clinical experience, have demonstrated that currently available therapy (i. e., various forms of fluid replacement) may be fruitless in advanced or prolonged shock.
The investigations by Goldenberg and his associates1 of the action of arterenol (nor-epinephrine) demonstrated that this compound increased the blood pressure very markedly by increasing peripheral resistance, without the other effects of epinephrine. Arterenol is related to epinephrine as indicated in the structural formulas. It was thought, therefore, that it might be of some value in the treatment of shock.
We have recently had the opportunity to observe the action of arterenol in a patient in profound, prolonged shock from a perforated gastric ulcer.
Luger NM, Kleiman A, Fremont RE. TREATMENT OF SHOCK WITH ARTERENOL. JAMA. 1951;146(17):1592–1593. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.63670170001011