Terlipressin in hepatorenal syndrome.
To compare the pharmacology, dosing, and adverse reactions of vasopressin and terlipressin for the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) and assess the efficacy of the investigational drug terlipressin for HRS. Articles evaluating prospective studies for vasopressin and terlipressin were discussed after being identified through PubMed (1966-November 2010), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-November 2010), and EMBASE (1985-November 2010) with combinations of the following terms: vasopressin, terlipressin, and hepatorenal syndrome. In addition, reference citations from publications identified were reviewed. Thirteen studies were identified for terlipressin, along with 4 meta-analyses and 1 case report. For vasopressin, 2 studies were identified. Prospective clinical studies directly comparing terlipressin and vasopressin were evaluated, as well as prospective clinical studies and meta-analyses for terlipressin in HRS. No randomized, placebo-controlled trials using vasopressin for the treatment of type I HRS have been published, and 4 randomized studies involving 197 patients provide the most current outcome data for use of terlipressin in HRS. Terlipressin differs significantly from vasopressin with regard to its pharmacology, dosing, and adverse drug reaction profile. There is a paucity of data on vasopressin for HRS. No definitive recommendations can be made for the use of terlipressin for this indication until further, well-conducted studies are performed.