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Renal-Dose Dopamine: Fact and Fiction

Harold M. Szerlip, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Harold M. Szerlip, MD, Medical Service (III), Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University and Woodland Avenues, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(2):153-154. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-115-2-153
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Seriously ill patients commonly show inadequate urine output or deteriorating renal function during a stay in an intensive care unit. When confronted by such events, the critical care specialist often resorts to infusions of dopamine at "renal doses." Accordingly, dopamine has become one of the most commonly used drugs in both medical and surgical intensive care units. It is considered a panacea for oliguria and a mithridate against renal failure. Unfortunately, the mystique that surrounds dopamine's effectiveness in these situations is largely based on anecdotal reports and poorly controlled studies. This is not to say that renal-dose dopamine has no



dopamine ; kidney

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