Is dopamine effective for the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS)?

Updated: Oct 16, 2017
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Low-dose dopamine (2-5 mcg/kg/min) is frequently prescribed to patients with renal failure in the hope that its vasodilatory properties may improve renal blood flow. Little evidence exists to support this practice; a placebo-controlled randomized trial by Bellomo and colleagues did not demonstrate any role for low-dose dopamine in early renal dysfunction. [26] Five studies have evaluated the role of dopamine in HRS, and none have reported significant changes in RPF, GFR, or urine output.

These studies are limited by small sample size and the lack of a control arm. Nonetheless, they demonstrate that dopamine administration in patients with cirrhosis, with or without HRS, does not improve renal function.

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