Which medications in the drug class Cardiovascular (Inotropic) Agents are used in the treatment of Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Updated: Jul 18, 2018
  • Author: Santina A Zanelli, MD; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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Cardiovascular (Inotropic) Agents

These agents increase blood pressure (BP) and combat shock. Drugs in this category act primarily by increasing systemic vascular resistance, cardiac contractility, and stroke volume, thus increasing cardiac output.

Most inotropic agents also have dose and gestational age-dependent effects on vessels, particularly those of the renal and GI systems. For the most part, these effects are beneficial but, at higher doses, the systemic side effects may be unpredictable.

In experimental animals, cerebral blood flow (CBF) is unaffected by these drugs when used in recommended therapeutic doses. However, no clear information is available on the effects of these drugs on CBF in neonates.

Dopamine (Intropin)

Stimulates both adrenergic and dopaminergic receptors. Hemodynamic effect is dependent on the dose. Lower doses predominantly stimulate dopaminergic receptors that in turn produce renal and mesenteric vasodilation. Cardiac stimulation and renal vasodilation produced by higher doses.

Dobutamine (Dobutrex)

Second inotropic DOC, preferred by some as first choice in severe cardiogenic shock.

Produces vasodilation and increases inotropic state. At higher dosages may cause increased heart rate, exacerbating myocardial ischemia.

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