What is the role of clonidine in minimizing blood loss during liver transplantation?

Updated: Apr 19, 2019
  • Author: Vanessa A Olcese, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Ron Shapiro, MD  more...
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Anecdotal reports describe the use of other drugs to reduce transfusion requirements in persons undergoing OLT. These include clonidine and estrogen.

Clonidine, a centrally acting alpha2-adrenergic receptor agonist, significantly decreased transfusion and fluid requirements in a small prospective, randomized controlled trial. [30] It was hypothesized that excessive sympathetic stimulation occurred in patients with cirrhosis because of a spillover of excess epinephrine and norepinephrine. Clonidine acted to decrease sympathetic activity on the splanchnic circulation and, thus, decreased flow and pressure in the portal circulation. However, this study was quite small and requires confirmation by others.

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