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March 21, 1980

Multiple Extremity Amputations in Hypotensive Patients Treated With Dopamine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego (Drs Golbranson, Lurie, Vance, and Vandell), and Rehabilitation Medicine Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, La Jolla, Calif (Dr Golbranson).

JAMA. 1980;243(11):1145-1146. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300370019018

Dopamine hydrochloride has been established as effective in the treatment of hypotension and shock in patients with adequate blood volume. The physiological response is dose related. Administration of more than 10 μg/kg/min results in α-receptor stimulation and vasoconstriction, and peripheral extremity ischemia has been reported. Four patients treated with dopamine subsequently had the development of peripheral ischemia and gangrene, resulting in the need for multiple extremity amputations. These reactions represent a major complication of treatment.

(JAMA 243:1145-1146, 1980)