BACKGROUND Acute kidney injury is a frequent problem among many critically ill patients, commonly in the context of multiple organ failure and decreased renal perfusion. Its presence conveys a poor prognosis. Currently, effective therapeutic interventions are limited and dopaminergic agonists have been suggested as an option to prevent further damage. METHODS We performed a randomized, double-blind, prospective crossover study in 17 patients admitted to our Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with evidence of impaired renal function. Patients were randomized to a 24-hour intravenous infusion of low-dose fenoldopam or placebo. When the infusion of fenoldopam or placebo was completed, patients underwent a 24-hour washout period in which no study intervention was performed. This sequence was repeated in each patient with the opposite agent, so each patient served as his or her own control. Four-hour creatinine collections were taken during the last 4 hours of each infusion and washout periods to determine creatinine clearance changes during and after administration of the study drug. RESULTS Creatinine clearance was higher with fenoldopam infusion than with placebo infusion (p 0.045). The fractional excretion of NA (FENa) was not signiificantly different. CONCLUSIONS Our study showed that low-dose fenoldopam increases creatinine clearance in the critically ill with renal insufificiency. Fenoldopam may be a useful drug in ICU patients with early renal dysfunction.
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