Augmentation of Splanchnic Blood Flow

  • J.-L. Vincent
  • D. Schmartz
  • D. De Backer
Part of the Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (UICM, volume 23)


Containing around 1.41, or approximately 30% of the adult circulating blood flow at any given time, the splanchnic circulation represents an important blood reservoir in man [1]. In response to low cardiac output states such as those associated with hemorrhage, the celiac, superior and inferior mesenteric, and hepatic circulations are selectively reduced to maintain blood flow to the vital organs [2]. Price et al. reduced the total blood volume of conscious human volunteers by between 15% and 20% and observed preferential depletion of the splanchnic circulation; the viscera losing roughly 40% of their initial volume, compared with only 10% depletion of the central volume [1]. Activation of the renin-angiotensin system in the kidney during hypotension has been largely incriminated in this so-called autotransfusion response[2, 3]. In terms of immediate survival, selective splanchnic vasoconstriction obviously provides a natural mechanism by which severely injured organisms can maintain consciousness in the face of immediate danger. However, as artificial methods of resuscitation and life-support improve chances of survival into the long term, autotransfusion presents certain problems, since prolonged periods of splanchnic ischemia risk damage to the stomach, small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas [2].


Septic Shock Regional Blood Flow Endotoxic Shock Splanchnic Blood Flow Organ Blood Flow 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-L. Vincent
  • D. Schmartz
  • D. De Backer

There are no affiliations available

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