Early vasopressor administration in pediatric blunt liver and spleen injury: An ATOMAC + study

David M. Notrica, Bethany L. Sussman, Lois W. Sayrs, Shawn D. St. Peter, R. Todd Maxson, Adam C. Alder, James W. Eubanks, Jeremy J. Johnson, Daniel J. Ostlie, Todd Ponsky, Jessica A. Naiditch, Charles M. Leys, Karla A. Lawson, Cynthia Greenwell, Amina Bhatia, Nilda M. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: No prior studies have examined the outcomes of early vasopressor use in children sustaining blunt liver or spleen injury (BLSI). Methods: A planned secondary analysis of vasopressor use from a 10-center, prospective study of 1004 children with BLSI. Inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) was used to compare patients given vasopressors < 48 h after injury to controls based on pretreatment factors. A logistic regression was utilized to assess survival associated with vasopressor initiation factors on mortality and nonoperative management (NOM) failure. Results: Of 1004 patients with BLSI, 128 patients were hypotensive in the Pediatric Trauma Center Emergency Department (ED); 65 total patients received vasopressors. Hypotension treated with vasopressors was associated with a sevenfold increase in mortality (AOR = 7.6 [p < 0.01]). When excluding patients first given vasopressors for cardiac arrest, the risk of mortality increased to 11-fold (AOR = 11.4 [p = 0.01]). All deaths in patients receiving vasopressors occurred when started within the first 12 h after injury. Vasopressor administration at any time was not associated with NOM failure. Conclusion: After propensity matching, early vasopressor use for hypotension in the ED was associated with an increased risk of death, but did not increase the risk of failure of NOM. Level of evidence: Level III prognostic and epidemiological, prospective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-505
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Blunt trauma
  • Nonoperative management
  • Pediadiatric trauma
  • Vasopressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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