Late Vasopressor Administration in Patients in the ICU: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Elizabeth M. Viglianti, Sean M. Bagshaw, Rinaldo Bellomo, Joanne McPeake, Daniel J. Molling, Xiao Qing Wang, Sarah Seelye, Theodore J. Iwashyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of late vasopressor administration which evolves after admission to the ICU. Research Question: What is the epidemiology of late vasopressor administration in the ICU? Study Design and Methods: We retrospectively studied a cohort of veterans admitted to the Veterans Administration ICUs for ≥ 4 days from 2014 to 2017. The timing of vasopressor administration was categorized as early (only within the initial 3 days), late (on day 4 or later and none on day 3), and continuous (within the initial 2 days through at least day 4). Regressions were performed to identify patient factors associated with late vasopressor administration and the timing of vasopressor administration with posthospitalization discharge mortality. Results: Among the 62,206 hospitalizations with at least 4 ICU days, late vasopressor administration occurred in 5.5% (3,429 of 62,206). Patients with more comorbidities (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.02 per van Walraven point; 95% CI, 1.02-1.03) and worse severity of illness on admission (aOR, 1.01 per percentage point risk of death; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02) were more likely to receive late vasopressor therapy. Nearly 50% of patients started a new antibiotic within 24 h of receiving late vasopressor therapy. One-year mortality after survival to discharge was higher for patients with continuous (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.48; 95% CI, 1.33-1.65) and late vasopressor administration (aHR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.15-1.38) compared with only early vasopressor administration. Interpretation: Late vasopressor administration was modestly associated with comorbidities and admission illness severity. One-year mortality was higher among those who received late vasopressor administration compared with only early vasopressor administration. Research to understand optimization of late vasopressor therapy administration may improve long-term mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-578
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • cardiovascular failure
  • outcomes
  • persistent critical illness
  • prolonged ICU stay
  • sepsis
  • vasopressors

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