Last updated on June 2011

Angiotensin in Septic Kidney Injury Trial

Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of a systemic infusion of angiotensin II on haemodynamics and urine output in critically ill patients with severe sepsis/septic shock and acute renal failure. It will also help determine the feasibility of conducting a definitive and adequately powered randomised controlled trial of angiotensin II in such patients that would assess mortality and need for renal replacement therapy as endpoints.

Detailed Study Description

Sepsis is the most common cause of ARF in the ICU. In last 50 years there have been no significant advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis, prevention or treatment of septic ARF, except for the use of renal replacement therapy (RRT) once it is established. It has been assumed that hypotension induced by severe sepsis results in organ hypoperfusion and subsequent kidney ischaemia. This ischaemia has been believed to be one of the main factors, if not the principal factor, contributing to development of ARF in severe sepsis. Surprisingly, there is little evidence to support this assumption. Rather, emerging evidence seriously questions this traditional ischaemic-acute tubular necrosis (ATN) paradigm of septic ARF. Patients with severe sepsis have been found to have increased, rather than decreased, renal blood flow, and post mortem examination of kidneys from patients who have died with septic acute renal failure rarely show the appearance of ATN. An animal model of septic ARF found that renal blood flow was increased, while glomerular filtration rate was decreased. These facts lead us to hypothesise that profound efferent arteriolar vasodilatation may be the cause of the observed decrease in GFR in septic ARF. The only logical explanation for the observation that RBF increases while GFR falls is that both efferent and afferent arterioles dilate, but that efferent vasodilation is greater. A selective efferent arteriolar vasoconstrictor would be expected to restore GFR. Angiotensin II is the most selective known efferent vasoconstrictor. We hypothesise that early therapeutic intervention with angiotensin II in critically ill patients with severe sepsis/septic shock and kidney dysfunction may improve kidney function such that the need for renal replacement therapy is avoided. This would represent a significant improvement in the care of critically ill patients with severe sepsis/septic shock and ARF, a condition for which no interventions short of RRT have been shown to improve outcome. Novel and successful therapeutic interventions in this patient population would have widespread clinical implications, including improved survival and less need for long-term dialysis, with consequent resource savings.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00711789

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The Western Hospital

Footscray, Australia
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Northern Hospital

Epping, Australia
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Recruitment Status: Open

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