Role of Low Dose Epinephrine Boluses In Acute Hypotension


The Study evaluates the role of low dose epinephrine boluses in management of acute hypo-tension VS The Traditional management of acute hypo-tension. Half of the participants suffering from acute hypo-tension will receive low dose epinephrine boluses (≤ 5 µg/kg/dose) and the other half will receive traditional management of shock

Full Title of Study: “Role of Low Dose Epinephrine Boluses For Acute Hypotension in The Pediatrics ICU”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: January 1, 2021

Detailed Description

Epinephrine, due to its alpha-1 and beta-adrenergic effects, is considered an important part of the management of children with hypo-tension. Epinephrine is typically used as a continuous infusion (0.02-0.5 μg/kg/min) for severe sustained hypo-tension and as a bolus (0.01 mg/kg, maximum dose = 1 mg) for bradycardia, asystole, or pulse-less arrest. There are, however, clinical conditions that may benefit from smaller doses of bolus epinephrine. For example, brief periods of hypo-tension during medical procedures, intermittent hemodynamic instability, and augmentation of low blood pressure in a pre-arrest condition. While a resuscitation (or code) dose of epinephrine would be inappropriate (as it would cause an unacceptable large increase in blood pressure and heart rate [HR]), a smaller dose may be particularly useful. Low-dose bolus vasopressors have been used for decades by anaesthesiologists to prevent post-re-perfusion injury after solid organ transplant, control cerebral oxygenation during anaesthesia and manage acute hypo-tension during spinal surgery. Recently, use of bolus dose phenyl-ephrine has been described in the emergency department setting to augment blood pressure during periods of hypo-tension surrounding intubation. Finally, free open access medical publications have provided some insight into using bolus dose pressors for acute hypotensive episodes in adults. However, there is few published data describing the use of low-dose vasopressor boluses in children.


  • Drug: Epinephrine
    • IV Low dose Boluses
  • Drug: Traditional management of shock
    • Initial resuscitation: Push boluses of 20 cc/kg isotonic saline or colloid up to and over 60 cc/kg until perfusion improves or unless rales or hepatomegaly develop Fluid refractory shock: Begin inotrope IV/IO. Use atropine/ketamine IV/IO/IM to obtain central access and airway if needed. Reverse cold shock by titrating central dopamine or, if resistant, titrate central epinephrine. Reverse warm shock by titrating central norepinephrine. Catecholamine resistant shock: Begin hydrocortisone if at risk for absolute adrenal insufficiency.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Low dose Epinephrine boluses
    • Patients suffering from acute hypo-tension will receive low dose IV epinephrine boluses ≤ 5 μg/kg/dose, 3 doses, within 3 hours
  • Placebo Comparator: Traditional management of shock
    • Patients suffering from acute hypo-tension will be managed according to Traditional algorithm of Hypotension

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • change of mean value of blood Pressure both systolic and diastolic according to age group
    • Time Frame: within 1 Hours after injection
    • Assessment of patients’ blood Pressure (both systolic and diastolic) will be at at the onset of acute hypo-tension and after every bolus of low dose epinephrine and pressure will be reassessed after 20 minutes from each bolus

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients experiencing acute hypotensive episodes whether brief or during or after medical or surgical procedures Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients experiencing acute hypotensive episodes in arrest or pre-arrest situations

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 1 Month

Maximum Age: 18 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Assiut University
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Mohamed E Eldaly, Principal Investigator – Assiut University
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Maher M Ahmed, Professer, +201062052802,

Citations Reporting on Results

Reiter PD, Roth J, Wathen B, LaVelle J, Ridall LA. Low-Dose Epinephrine Boluses for Acute Hypotension in the PICU. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2018 Apr;19(4):281-286. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000001448.

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