Department of Critical Care Medicine, Zhongda Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Department of Critical Care Medicine, Zhongda Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Haiboq2000@163.com.
BACKGROUND Catecholamines are the first-line vasopressors used in patients with septic shock. However, the search for novel drug candidates is still of great importance due to the development of adrenergic hyposensitivity accompanied by a decrease in catecholamine activity. Terlipressin (TP) is a synthetic vasopressin analogue used in the management of patients with septic shock. In the current study, we aimed
to compare the effects of TP and catecholamine infusion in treating septic shock patients. METHODS A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted by searching articles published in PUBMED, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials between inception and July 2018. We only selected randomized controlled trials evaluating the use of TP and catecholamine in adult patients with septic shock. The primary outcome was overall mortality. The secondary outcomes were the ICU length of stay, haemodynamic changes, tissue perfusion, renal function, and adverse events. RESULTS A total of 9 studies with 850 participants were included in the analysis. Overall, no significant difference in mortality was observed between the TP and catecholamine groups (risk ratio(RR), 0.85 (0.70 to 1.03); P = 0.09). In patients < 60 years old, the mortality rate was lower in the TP group than in the catecholamine group (RR, 0.66 (0.50 to 0.86); P = 0.002). There was no significant difference in the ICU length of stay (mean difference, MD), - 0.28 days; 95% confidence interval (CI), - 1.25 to 0.69; P = 0.58). Additionally, TP improved renal function. The creatinine level was decreased in patients who received TP therapy compared to catecholamine-treated participants (standard mean difference, SMD), - 0.65; 95% CI, - 1.09 to - 0.22; P = 0.003). No significant difference was found regarding the total adverse events (Odds Ratio(OR), 1.48(0.51 to 4.24); P = 0.47), whereas peripheral ischaemia was more common in the TP group (OR, 8.65(1.48 to 50.59); P = 0.02). CONCLUSION The use of TP was associated with reduced mortality in septic shock patients less than 60 years old. TP may also improve renal function and cause more peripheral ischaemia. PROSPERO registry: CRD42016035872.