Vasopressor use as a surrogate for post-intubation hemodynamic instability is associated with in-hospital and 90-day mortality: a retrospective cohort study

Nathan J. Smischney, Onur Demirci, Bryce D. Ricter, Christina C. Hoeft, Lisa M. Johnson, Shejan Ansar, Rahul Kashyap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence is lacking for what defines post-intubation hypotension in the intensive care unit (ICU). If a valid definition could be used, the potential exists to evaluate possible risk factors and thereby improve post-intubation. Thus, our objectives were to arrive at the best surrogate for post-intubation hypotension that accurately predicts both in-hospital and 90-day mortality in a population of ICU patients and to report mortality rates between the exposed and unexposed cohorts. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of emergent endotracheal intubations in a medical-surgical ICU from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011 to evaluate surrogates for post-intubation hypotension that would predict in-hospital and 90-day mortality followed by an analysis of exposed versus unexposed using our best surrogate. Patients were ≥18 years of age, underwent emergent intubation during their first ICU admission, and did not meet any of the surrogates 60 min pre-intubation. Results: The six surrogates evaluated 60 min post-intubation were those with any systolic blood pressures ≤90 mmHg, any mean arterial pressures ≤65 mmHg, reduction in median systolic blood pressures of ≥20 %, any vasopressor administration, any non-sinus rhythm and, fluid administration of ≥30 ml/kg. A total of 147 patients were included. Of the six surrogates, only the administration of any vasopressor 60 min post-intubation remained significant for mortality. Twenty-nine patients were then labeled as hemodynamically unstable and compared to the 118 patients labeled as hemodynamically stable. After adjusting for confounders, the hemodynamically unstable group had a significantly higher in-hospital and 90-day mortality [OR (95 % CI); 3.84 (1.31-11.57) (p value = 0.01) and 2.37 (1.18-4.61) (p-value = 0.02)]. Conclusions: Emergently intubated patients manifesting hemodynamic instability after but not before intubation, as measured by vasoactive administration 60 min post-intubation, have a higher association with in-hospital and 90-day mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number445
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Emergent endotracheal intubations
  • Hemodynamic instability
  • Mortality
  • Post-intubation hypotension
  • Vasopressor use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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