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Phentolamine continuous infusion in a patient with pheochromocytoma.

Author(s): McMillian WD, Trombley BJ, Charash WE, Christian RC

Affiliation(s): Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT, USA. wes.mcmillian@vtmednet.org

Publication date & source: 2011-01-15, Am J Health Syst Pharm., 68(2):130-4.

Publication type: Case Reports

PURPOSE: Use of continuous phentolamine infusion therapy for management of serious cardiovascular complications during adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma is reported. SUMMARY: In preparation for surgical resection of a pheochromocytoma, a 38-year-old woman received outpatient oral therapy with the alpha-adrenergic-receptor blocker phenoxybenzamine for 25 days with the goal of reducing cardiovascular risks associated with catecholamine surge during surgery. Due to inappropriate dosage adjustment, however, outpatient phenoxybenzamine therapy did not achieve adequate alpha-adrenergic-receptor blockade; during the laparoscopic resection procedure, the woman developed severe hypertension, leading to cardiac arrest and discontinuation of the operation. After resuscitative measures, the patient was admitted to the surgical intensive care unit for mechanical ventilation, medical management (including intermittent bolus injections of phentolamine and a continuous i.v. infusion of esmolol for control of blood pressure and heart rate), and hemodynamic monitoring; despite those measures, cardiovascular instability persisted during the immediate postoperative period. The day after the abortive surgery attempt, a continuous infusion of phentolamine mesylate (1 mg/hr, adjusted hourly to achieve the blood pressure target) was initiated. Four days after initiation of continuous phentolamine infusion, the patient was deemed to be hemodynamically stable, and the surgery was successfully performed. CONCLUSION: A continuous infusion of phentolamine was used in a patient with pheochromocytoma to control perioperative hypertensive episodes during surgical adrenalectomy.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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